The Social Mandate of the Police

On police identity and core elements in police work

author Jan Terpstra
journal Cahiers Politiestudies (ISSN: 1784-5300)
volume Jaargang 2012
issue 25. Tides and currents in police theories
section Artikelen
date of publication Dec. 12, 2012
language English
pagina 247

n this paper a (re-)formulation is presented of the so-mentioned social mandate of the police. Four elements of this social mandate are distinguished: the competence to use power, the moral basis of police work, a problem-solving orientation, and the need to gain and maintain legitimacy. These four elements are closely interrelated. If one or more of these elements are treated in isolation, then serious problems will arise. Many problems of the contemporary police may be understood as a result of the tendency to treat one or more of these elements as isolated phenomena. With this formulation of the social mandate an alternative is presented for several other views on the police that dominate contemporary policy and debate, like the new managerial view on the core business tasks of the police or the view that emphasizes the ‘hard’ aspects of the police as mainly a force.