Brave New Apps: An Essay on Community Policing and Social Media

  • Joachim Kersten
  • Norbert Leonardmaier
  • Reinhard Kreissl
Part of the Security Informatics and Law Enforcement book series (SILE)


Community policing (CP) lacks a precise definition and research findings point at a basis dilemma: the service aspect of policing vs. the crime-fighting attitudes of a masculinity-oriented cop culture. Social media engagement by police can provide significant advantages to improve police–community interactions. As a steadily spreading and encompassing form of communication and interaction, however, social media can also have unintended repercussions for police and society. The description and analysis of such repercussions are the main objective of this chapter. Among the issues are tendencies to support vigilante attitudes as well as the stimulation of unwarranted fears of crime. This chapter investigates these aspects in an explorative and descriptive manner before it closes with suggestions for a meaningful use of police CP apps in the area of domestic violence, a dramatically under-policed category of conflict with low reporting rates and high patterns of victimization.


Community policing Virtual communities Domestic violence Challenges for adoption Officer resistance Case example 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Kersten
    • 1
  • Norbert Leonardmaier
    • 2
  • Reinhard Kreissl
    • 2
  1. 1.German Police UniversityMünsterGermany
  2. 2.VICESSEViennaAustria

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