Multicultural Community Policing

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Traditional policing practices struggle to effectively serve increasingly multicultural communities where cultures, religions and competing national identities challenge social norms, particularly when policies are unable to engage with diversity or overcome organisational biases and prejudices (Ben-Porat, 2008; Larsen, 2010). As a result police relations with immigrant communities are often strained and any form of contact is usually negative. There are three key challenges for policing multicultural communities; recruitment and training, practices and community involvement (Larsen, 2010; Murphy & Cherney, 2011). A study conducted by Murphy & Cherney (2011) found that ethnic minority groups held less favourable perceptions of police compared…show more content…
In 1998 Victorian police implemented Local Safety Committees (LSC) to identify local crime and public safety issues in immigrant and wider communities. These were implemented in addition to the existing Police Community Consultation Committees (PCCC) established by the previous government. Their combined purpose was to facilitate communication between police and the public to recover perceptions of police legitimacy and eliminate suspicion within minority communities (Casey & Pike, 2008). Those PCCC’s and LSC’s with committed and dedicated members were originally a success in communities however like their American counterparts also lacked funding and support to remain sustainable. The study found that most PCCC’s did not achieve sustained and effective information exchange with citizens (minority or otherwise), were able to identify problems but lacked funding and expertise to implement solutions and senior police felt this new brand of policing failed to have significant impact on their individual work or targets (Casey & Pike, 2008). Casey & Pike (2008) concluded that the introduction of LSC’s failed to improve the current situation and only succeed in complicating issues further exacerbating the already problematic relationship between police and immigrant…show more content…
One US city has lead by example; the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has established the New Immigrant Outreach Unit (NIOU) who serve as a connection between the department and various immigrant communities (Cook et al., 2015). Officers from this specific unit are responsible for a particular community and form relationships with immigrants thereby establishing trust and helping mediate and respond to issues within the community. They also provide linguistically and culturally competent information and assistance to general officers. Cook et al. (2015) states that the success of this program can be attributed to the use of existing resources ensuring that all units of the NYPD are aware of who can provide information and training when working with immigrant communities. Another successful strategy implemented was when recruiting officers for this program the officers were required to be familiar with the culture and fluently speak on or more languages spoken by the community they would eventually serve (Cook et al., 2015). This specific implementation of community policing was successful as it recognised that ordinary officers could not provide the time to partake in additional community outreach activities while maintaining general duties. Therefore a specific

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