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Connected Policing: The Importance of Social Capital and Boundary Spanning in Australian Police Leadership

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Abstract

This chapter explores Australian police leadership at senior and middle management levels using the theoretical framework of social capital. It opens with a discussion of the Australian policing landscape, exploring how agencies and their leaders navigate the complexity of their roles in the context of state and Commonwealth architecture. It moves on to discuss the components of social capital, how such capital is developed, how it might be enhanced, and how police leadership in Australia invests in, and draws down on, social capital to aid the system. Finally the implications of the advent of the Department of Home Affairs—a super-ministry bringing together Commonwealth law enforcement departments (but not state police) launched in mid-2018 are examined. The authors explore the implications of this shift for the interface between state and Commonwealth policing, the potential tensions likely to be created across the policing space and consider how Australian police leadership—and investments in social capital—will need to adapt to maximize positive outcomes.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-21469-2_12
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Fig. 12.1
Fig. 12.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    The “Five Eyes” members include Australia and New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This network of allies developed trusting relationships post World War Two and continues to share large amounts of intelligence and regular transnational security cooperation.

  2. 2.

    This is starting to change at the very senior ranks with more officers moving laterally or for promotion between the large forces, particularly between Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police. There are increasing movements too between police organisations and allied emergency services. For example, the current commissioner of Queensland Fire and Rescue is a former Assistant Commissioner of Queensland Police Service.

  3. 3.

    Since the federation of Australia’s states and territories into one Commonwealth nation in 1901, a federal Department of Home Affairs or Department of the Interior has existed a number of times, focusing on various issues of contemporary importance, including certain immigration functions, which the current department retains, although not previously focused on law enforcement and security. A Department of Home Affairs has not existed since the Department of Home Affairs and Environment was dissolved in December 1984, while the functions have variously.

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Correspondence to Victoria Herrington .

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Herrington, V., Blackman, D., Carroll, J., Owen, C. (2019). Connected Policing: The Importance of Social Capital and Boundary Spanning in Australian Police Leadership. In: Ramshaw, P., Silvestri, M., Simpson, M. (eds) Police Leadership . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21469-2_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21469-2_12

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-21468-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-21469-2

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