7. 7.1 What happened locally? Police INTRODUCTION Having set out national police policies in Chapter 4 we will now turn to two local police jurisdictions, to see what policy change (or policy stasis) looked like closer to the ground. As in Chapter 6, we will look at Brighton and Leuven, although here we immediately encounter one important difference between the two countries. Whereas Leuven has had its own police force since 1796, Brighton is only a division within a much larger police area – the Sussex force. This is typical of the more general national patterns – police areas in England are much bigger than in Belgium. As we will see, this immediately makes for substantial differences in terms of the size of forces, the levels of internal specialization, and the range of technologies and problems with which the ‘local’ police deal. This size difference is partly a reflection of the fact that, whereas the local Belgian forces had always operated with the umbrella of a national police force (the Rijkswacht), England has never had a national force. (However, as we saw in Chapter 4, it has developed more and more specialist units at the national level, such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency created in 2006 or the National Policing Improvement Agency established under the 2006 Police and Justice Act. But these are not police forces, they are special units.) 7.2 SOURCES AND METHODS We should first say that we are extremely grateful for the generous cooperation we received from the...
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