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Tools for a New Situational Policing

Part of the Palgrave's Critical Policing Studies book series (PCPS )


This chapter builds on the ideas in Chapters 2 and 5 by presenting a number of essential tools for a new situational policing. By envisioning strong, safe places as the ultimate goal of policing, these tools help the police and communities engage in dialogue, act together, and assess progress towards this desired end. The “strong neighbourhood” goal sets up a new game which requires the police to work with the community to create an atmosphere where residents are willing to intervene for the common good and the police are there to help. The new game requires new concepts, tools, and strategies which are the focus of this chapter.

Key Terms

  • Situational policing
  • Neighbourhood dynamics
  • Psychodynamic processes
  • Police reform

This work was supported in part by The Office of Community Oriented Policing [Cooperative Agreement Number 2007-CK-WX-K009 to James Nolan].

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Fig. 12.1
Fig. 12.2


  1. 1.

    Transformational reform was identified in Chapter 2 of this volume as one of four types of reform. It implies that the game on the field has changed along with methods for achieving the new goals.

  2. 2.

    The concepts of neighbourhood dynamics and neighbourhood atmosphere are described fully in Chapter 5 of this volume and so will not be repeated here.


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Correspondence to James J. Nolan .

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The appendix of this chapter includes the following tools for Situational Policing: Neighbourhood Dynamics Instrument (NDI), Systematic Social Observation Worksheet.

Neighbourhood Development Instrument (NDI)

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Nolan, J.J., Hinkle, J.C. (2021). Tools for a New Situational Policing. In: Nolan, J.J., Crispino, F., Parsons, T. (eds) Policing in an Age of Reform. Palgrave's Critical Policing Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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