Due to the complexity of crime phenomena and crime control, the extent and importance of collaboration and strategic partnership between security actors has notably increased during the last decades. These changes pose challenges to the police organization and management.
This joint paper of three individual research projects discusses collaboration between the police and other authorities in Finland within these contemporary type of inter-organizational networks. The data was in each case collected via thematic interviews of the police and various other authorities. The focus is on information exchange. We analyse factors that promote information sharing, as well as factors that hinder it. We also consider the communication practices from the viewpoint of more profound collaboration and knowledge creation.
Our research shows that police officers consider inter-organizational collaboration as a substantial part of today’s crime prevention, but the change in policing is still on-going. The collaboration between the police and other authorities is still largely based on concrete actions and specific cases. Deeper collaboration and knowledge creation on larger issues mostly takes place at the managerial level. In the future, a challenge is to bring knowledge creation practices into local collaboration and planning of concrete actions.
Three individual studies enable a wide examination of inter-organizational collaboration in crime control. Focus on information exchange from the police point of view sheds light on the practices of everyday policing. The examples are from the Finnish police, but the results on mechanisms of collaboration can be applied to police work in other countries as well.