Skip to main content

Perspectives on the Essence of Policing

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Police Services
  • 1079 Accesses


This piece reflects on the fact that the police service has been really good at training its people and investing huge amounts of money and resources in fighting crime. But much still needs to be done at teaching people to think about policing, about their mission and about its legitimacy. Notwithstanding various challenges, not least of shrinking budgets, the piece concludes that police forces maintain and build on their reputation by keeping the public safe, and by being openly accountable for their actions.

An early version of this chapter was presented at the JMU in October 2013

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Her Majesty’s Constabulary of Inspection. (2011). Without fear or favour: A review of police relationships. London: HMIC.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hughson, J., & Spaaij, R. (2011). You are always on our mind: The Hillsborough tragedy as cultural trauma. Acta Sociologica, 54(3), 283–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hillsborough Independent Panel. (2012). Hillsborough The Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. HC 581. The Stationery Office Limited: London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hope, C. (2013). Police should be more polite to the public, says policing minister Damian Green. The Telegraph. Published 8 July 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  • ITV. (2012). Exposure: The other side of Jimmy Savile.

    Google Scholar 

  • Public Administration Select Committee. (2014). Caught red-handed: Why we can’t count on Police Recorded Crime statistics. Thirteenth Report of Session 2013–14. HC 760. The Stationery Office Limited: London.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jon Murphy .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Murphy, J. (2015). Perspectives on the Essence of Policing. In: Wankhade, P., Weir, D. (eds) Police Services. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-16567-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-16568-4

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics