Future preventive policing

  • Sirpa Virta


In this contribution the author looks at what the future holds for preventive policing and approaches this issue in a multi-dimensional way by looking both at how ‘preventive policing’ has undergone a metamorphosis on the one hand, and how preventive policing is changing the essence of police performance on the other hand. Preventive policing has a strong historical rooting, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon context, and has gradually spread to other parts of Europe. In fact, preventive policing is not to be defined as a separate strand, but as an element of widely accepted models of policing, including community policing and proximity policing. The anxiety about terrorism and radicalisation, combined with the connection between global and local security, has given leeway to the so called precautionary principle, which undermines the presumption of innocence as a legal principle. But it also facilitates secret surveillance and the pathologising of groups in society, which fundamentally alters the traditional model of community policing. The aim of this paper is to deal with the complexity of preventive policing and especially radicalisation prevention, in the context of counter-terrorism. Scenarios and the making of future policing in Europe cannot ignore terrorism and radicalisation.
Virtual preventive policing will be introduced at the end of the article together with new challenges for police training and education and police research.

How to Cite
Virta, S. (2017). Future preventive policing. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (2), 135-141. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/210