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With the advent of advanced crime syndicates and evolving crime patterns, Police forces across the world are currently facing severe challenges in policing their respective countries and communities. A major challenge is the increasing ‘globalization of criminality” in the form of transnational organized crimes that threaten national and global economic development and political stability.

Crimes such as Armed robbery, terrorism, Money Laundering, Vandalizing Government properties, corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, theft of mineral resources, arms smuggling and trade in fake and substandard pharmaceutical and industrial products amongst others have evolved from what it was in the 20th century.

For these crimes to abate there is need to take a proactive approach rather than reactive approach which is the traditional policing model, to prevent crime, knowledge and intelligence beyond local and national jurisdictions are more than often required. furthermore it is necessary for the law enforcement agencies to understand that the acquisition of knowledge for the policing of these crimes requires dynamic engagement and partnership among security and intelligence agencies as well as between law enforcement agencies and critical non-law enforcement stakeholders within and across nations.

In relation to the terrorist attack in the United States of America on the 11th September 2001, Peterson, (2005) pointed out that four critical lessons are to be learned from that tragedy.
The first is that, intelligence collection is everyone’s job; secondly, a culture of intelligence and collaboration is necessary to protect the United States from all types of crime and threats; thirdly, for intelligence to be effective, it should support the law enforcement agency’s entire operation; and, lastly, crime prevention and deterrence should be based on all-source information gathering and analysis. As a way forward, the police had to develop a policing concept that embraces intelligence as its cornerstone.

The United Kingdom faced with the challenge of high and violent crimes invented the Intelligence led policing model, Presently Nigeria is faced with similar or even more direchallenges with crime, Hence the need for the Nigerian Police to revamp its policing. In order to combat and reduce crime levels, the Nigerian Police needs to find and apply an effective policing strategy. The adoption of the intelligence led policing concept may be an answer to the high increasing crime rate in Nigeria. Intelligence led policing, also known as intelligence driven policing, has been proved internationally to be one of the most effective policing models for reducing crime.


According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistic, reported armed robbery cases perpetuated by males rose from between 10,500 cases in 2007 to over 17,500 in 2010. The need to manage and decrease crime rate in Nigeria has increased exponentially Trešdiena, (2007)

Intelligence led policing has gradually established itself as the modern approach to crime management. Its principle is that the police should not try to police an entire community, but instead use the crime intelligence products, like crime pattern analysis, crime threat analysis, and the Station Crime Intelligence Profile to police identified crime “hot spots” and known criminals or gangs.

Intelligence led policing has a number of advantages over the traditional approach of policing. The first advantage is that policing resources are used more realistically and more effectively; the second is that, when criminal behavior is being investigated, intelligence led policing seeks to establish links and patterns between individual crimes, by identifying crime series; the third is that it takes a long-term view of combating crime by supplying a range of preventative measures, including recommending legislative and policing changes, implementing neighborhood watch schemes, using closed circuit television systems, and using more direct patrols (Zinn, 2010). The high level of crime in the country is an indication of the failure of the state, through its organs like the police, to protect its citizens. This is further confirmed by electronic and print media which show horrific scenes and tell heart breaking stories of people who are raped, robbed, and murdered on a daily basis.


What really instigated the study was the growth rate of organized crimes in Nigeria; the security system in Nigeria has overtime tends to be less effective in curbing major crimes; these lapses in usually found in the police department because of lack of intelligent-led policing in the Nigeria police force.

The principle of intelligence-led policing describes how knowledge and understanding of criminal threats are used to drive law enforcement actions in response to threat of organized crime. There is need for overall improvement in the overall responses in the police department therefore; it will be very disastrous that as security professionals, there is a low knowledge of intelligence in dissolution of organized crimes in Nigeria.

Another issue in the Nigeria security unit was seen as lack of operational effort in the highest priority areas which as at today puts terrorism at the top within the Nigerian internal security space and in the global crime.


The study on the role of intelligence-led policing in curbing contemporary crimes in Nigeria will be of immense benefit to the entire security unit in Nigeria especially the police force as it will examine the effect of intelligence-led policing on the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation of the security units in Nigeria. The study will provide information to the federal government and the security unit on how to manage contemporary crimes in Nigeria. The study will also investigate on the factors affecting the implementation of intelligent-led policing in curbing contemporary crimes in Nigeria. Finally the study will be of immense benefit to other researchers that wishes to carry out similar research on the above topic and also contributes to the body of the existing literature on the intelligence-led policing in curbing contemporary crimes in Nigeria.


This study is limited to composed case studies of Nigerian Police Force and involved delving into the nature and scope of the crime problems targeted, methods used in tackling these crimes. Examining the Policing institution changes made to address those crime problems. Other paramilitary and military apparatus will not be included in this.


INTELLIGENCE-LED POLICING: is a policing model built around the assessment and management of risk. Intelligence officers serve as guides to operations, rather than operations guiding intelligence.

CONTEMPORARY CRIMES: in accordance to the study are crimes that are happening at the same time. These crimes are planned and organized

CURBING: restrain or keep in check of crimes in Nigeria


Intelligence collection in the form of espionage is one of the oldest professions in the history of mankind. Historical records show that it is the second oldest profession after prostitution (Hughes-Wilson, 2005). The creation of kings and emperors, and, later on kingdoms, empires, and states led to the institutionalization of intelligence as a means of controlling and ruling others. Intelligence has always been, and will always be, the vital tool for victory in war and in peace. This chapter covers the origin, development, and use of intelligence in the ancient world, during the dark ages, the middle ages, the renaissance, and up until the birth of modern intelligence and criminal intelligence.


(Bowers, 1984) states that, the collection of intelligence dates back to the beginning of mankind. Primitive man sought answers to questions relating to his survival and comfort. The need to know is, thus, deeply embedded in the human biological and social make up as much as the need to reproduce. In order to survive, human beings need information about their surroundings, with regard to threats and food supply for instance. Thus, collecting information on these basic needs is a key to survival. As one of mankind’s basic survival instincts, intelligence is as old as humanity itself (Hughes-Wilson, 2005). Naturally, human beings and their institutions have their own secrets which are things that are hidden from one human being to another, one institution to another, and from one nation or state to another. The wish to conceal things from one another is caused by fear, weakness, greed, or shame. On the other hand, humans also have the inherited traits of curiosity. This is also a natural instinct of wanting to know the secrets of the other side and explore them. The existence of these two mutually-opposing forces, namely (curiosity versus secrecy), led to natural competition amongst enemies and sometimes amongst friends and allies (Hughes-Wilson, 2005). The next paragraph will explore the evolution of information collection from the ancient world up to the modern age.


Throughout history, intelligence has been defined as the collection, culling, analysis, and dissemination of critical and strategic information (Lerner, 2010). Information was primarily collected about the threats against the ruling regimes. The practice of collecting information about the threats against the ruling regimes and kings started 6000 years ago in Mesopotamia. This was done by establishing institutions and assigning individual persons to collect information on any threats, either individuals or nations, threatening the security of the ruling regime. The oldest form of information collection is espionage, which is well documented in political and military arts (Lerner, 2010).

(Crowdy, 2006) agrees with (Cardwell, 2004) that the first documented story of spies in the bible appears in the book of Genesis, when Joseph accused his brothers of being Canaanite spies reconnoitering for unprotected spots along the Egyptian border. This story is confirms the fact that Ancient Egypt was concerned about foreign spies infiltrating its borders. (Cardwell, 2004) went further to state that the first actual act of spying took place under the direction of Moses who sent twelve spies, each from the twelve tribes of Israel to the promised land. The second act took place under the leadership of Joshua who sent to spies to Jericho before launching a military campaign to conquer the city.

According to (Crowdy, 2006) another record of the use of spies in the ancient world is the story of the battle of Kadesh. In this story the Egyptians under the leadership of Pharaoh Rameses managed to defeat the Hittite of king Muwatallis. King Muwatallis sent two spies who disguised as deserters from the Hittite army. They told Pharaoh Rameses that the Hittite army is still far away with the intention of ambushing the Egyptian army. Rameses believed what they told him, but fortunately the Egyptian army managed to avert the ambush after another two spies where captured and told the truth about the ambush during the interrogation.

Sheldon (2011:50-51) describes the importance and dangers of intelligence work in the ancient world by stating that “ancient spies, unlike their modern counterparts, did not retire and write memoirs about their experiences. Their failure meant their execution or a major military disaster”. This statement is an indication of how intelligence work is valued. Victory and defeat in battle depends on proper and accurate intelligence. Intelligence has always formed part of statecraft and warfare. It was a vital tool to rulers, of ancient empires or even cities. It was used to control the inhabitants, keep the rulers abreast of political developments abroad, and informed of the internal security of their regimes. Every possible way of gathering information was used to enable them to make informed decisions. There are four main civilisations which contributed greatly to the intelligence tradecraft. These are Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Ancient China. Egypt

Spies and acts of information collection appear in some of the world’s earliest recorded history. Egyptian hieroglyphs reveal the presence of court spies, as do papyri describing ancient Egypt’s extensive military and slave trade operations. Early Egyptian Pharaohs employed the agents of espionage to collect or gather information about disloyal subjects and to identify tribes that could be conquered and enslaved (Lerner, 2010:1). From 1000 BC onwards, Egyptian espionage operations focused on foreign intelligence about the political and military strength of their rivals, Greece and Rome. Egyptian spies made significant contributions to espionage trade craft.

Owing to the fact that the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome employed literate subjects in their civil service, many spies dealt with written communications to gather the required information. The use of written messages brought some challenges to the intelligence environment which led to the development of codes, disguised writing, trick inks, and hidden compartments in clothing. Egyptian spies were the first to develop the extensive use of poison, including toxins derived from plants and snakes, to carry-out assassinations and acts of sabotage (Lerner, 2010). Hieroglyphs show the practice of intelligence during ancient times. These ancient writings tell a story of the triumphant campaign against the Syrian uprising of 1488 BC by Tutmoses III (a Pharaoh).

According to the hieroglyphs, the secret agents of the pharaoh in Megiddo informed him about the rebellion months before it started. These undercover spies noted Kadesh‟s growing army in the north and immediately rode south to warn the Egyptian outpost Fort at Tjuru, near present day Port Said, of the gathering storm. The speedy reaction of the pharaoh to the intelligence given made it possible to crush the rebellion (Hughes-Wilson, 2005). Rome

The first real “national” intelligence system for Rome was developed by Julius Caesar. This was influenced and prompted by the fact that, as a successful soldier, Caesar realized the importance of timely, accurate information about his enemies, and the need for fast secure communications to keep his own plans secret (Lerner, 2010). Julius Caesar complemented the interrogation of prisoners and local inhabitants during his campaign in Gaul by employing scouts. The main responsibility of the scouts was to collect information which was consistently fed to the advancing army. Commanders of these scouts had direct access to Caesar in order to keep him abreast about the situation in the empire and other states (Crowdy, 2006).

Rome is one of the civilizations in the ancient world, which relied heavily on intelligence. In over a millennium, the Romans created the largest empire of the ancient world, necessitating the governance of the most expansive infrastructure, military and bureaucracy. A famous case of intelligence failure in ancient Rome is the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44 BC. Records about the assassination established that the Roman Intelligence community knew of the plot and even provided intelligence to Caesar or his assistants providing the names of several conspirators (Lerner, 2010). The ignoring of the information from the intelligence community led to the assassination of Julius Caesar.

The Roman Empire often spied on its neighbors. The intelligence community provided comprehensive reports on the military strength and resources of those outside the empire. Informers were also employed by the military to infiltrate tribal organizations and convince leaders to join the alliance with Rome. If the group or individuals were found to be hostile to the Roman Empire, the military would be informed, and the opposing forces would be engaged. This type of intelligence campaign was very successful in the Italian Peninsula during the fourth century BC (Lerner, 2010).

After the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, his successor, Octavius, who became known as Caesar Augustus, rapidly drew all the existing military and diplomatic intelligence services into his own hands and established an empire-wide network of information collectors, known as Cursus Publicus which became the core of Imperial Rome‟s Secret Service (Hughes-Wilson, 2005). The fact that most Roman emperors were victims of assassinations during the imperial period caused paranoia. This paranoia prompted them to have spies in and outside the empire. Ultimately this situation led to the organized spying activity, in the form of a secret police, known as the frumentarii. This secret police was established during the reign of Emperor Domitian who ruled from AD 81-96. It consisted of non-commissioned officers and centurions who were primarily responsible for the purchasing of grain for the legions. The commander of this secret police organization was a prince peregrinorum, who was a senior centurion directly responsible to the emperor (Crowdy, 2006). Greece

New concepts of government and law enforcement were developed by the rise of Greek civilization between 1500 BC and 1200 BC (Lerner, 2010). Owing to many wars experienced by the Greek during that time, new military and intelligence strategies were developed. The early Greeks relied on deception as a primary means of achieving surprise attacks on their enemies. Greek literature from antiquity celebrated its intelligence exploits, owing to its successful deceptive strategies which led to resounding victories over their rivals (Lerner, 2010). The shining example of a masterpiece of deceptive strategy by the Greeks is the legendary incident of the “Trojan Horse”. In this incident, a wooden structure of a horse was given to the city of Troy as a gift. Inside this “wooden horse” there were several hundred Greek soldiers seeking safe entrance into the heavily fortified rival city of Troy. As a result they managed to enter the city safely. The “Trojan Horse” story became a symbol of Grecian intelligence prowess (Lerner, 2010). Ancient China

According to (Hughes-Wilson 2005), Sun Tsu is known to be the first codifier of intelligence in the ancient world. He was a military strategist who lived and fought around the Yellow River province of Wu around 500 BC. He emphasized that intelligence was a vital tool either in winning or losing a battle. One of his classic books about the use of intelligence is Ping Fa, meaning “the art of war” in English.

(Crowdy, 2006) supports this view on the need for proper intelligence or foreknowledge on the enemy by quoting these words from the great Chinese warrior “Thus what enables the wise sovereign and good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits, it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, not by any means of calculation. Knowledge of the enemy’s disposition can only be obtained from other men”.

According to (Burds 2011) Sun Tsu was the first writer in history to emphasize the necessity of avoiding all military engagements not based upon extensive, detailed analysis of the strategic situation, tactical options, and military capabilities.


After the collapse of the Roman Empire in Europe, espionage and intelligence activities were confined to wartime or local service. The only considerable political force in Europe during the Dark Ages was the Catholic Church. The birth of large Nation-States, such as France and England, in the Middle Ages (that is, the ninth and tenth centuries), facilitated the need for intelligence in a diplomatic setting.

During the eleventh century, the Catholic Church rose to the fore in European politics. The Church had the largest bureaucratic network, the sources of Feudal Military forces, and the largest treasury in the world, and it developed a policy that governed the whole of Europe. In 1095 AD, Pope Urban II called for the first crusade, a military campaign to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim and Byzantine rule. The church mobilized several large armies and employed spies to report on the defences surrounding Constantinople and Jerusalem. Special Intelligence agents infiltrated prisons to free the captured crusaders, or to sabotage the rival palaces, mosques, and military defenses. The crusades continued for four centuries, draining the military and intelligence sources of most of the European monarchs (Lerner, 2010).

The thirteenth century Catholic Church Council was prompted by religious fervour and the desire for political consolidation to establish laws regarding the prosecution of heretics and anti-clerical political leaders. This movement became known as the Inquisition. Espionage became the essential component of the Inquisition. The church relied on mass networks of informants to find and denounce suspected heretics and political dissidents (Lerner, 2010). By the early fourteenth century, both the Roman and Spanish monarchs employed sizable secret police forces to carry-out mass trials and public executions, whilst in Southern France, heretical groups relied on information gathered from their own resistance networks to gauge the surrounding political climate, and assist in hiding refugees. In 1542 the process of Inquisition was centralized within the church. Pope Paul III established the Council of the Holy Office, a permanent council composed of cardinals and other officials, whose mission was to maintain the political integrity of the church. The council maintained spies and informants, whose focus was to scrutinize the actions of Europe’s monarchs and prominent aristocrats (Lerner, 2010).


From the 1700s to the 1900s there was significant improvement in the collection of information and use of espionage. Industrialization, wars in Europe, economic and territorial expansion, and the diversification of political philosophies and regimes transformed the world’s intelligence communities. During the dictatorship of Robespierre, informant networks denounced traitors to the new Republic and tracked down refugee aristocrats and clergy for trial and execution. The wide application of the treason laws and charges marked one of the greatest abuses of intelligence in the modern era (Lerner, 2010). Many governments, especially those of England, France, and Prussia employed spies to infiltrate political and labour organizations and report any anti-government activities.

The collection of information changed forever in 1837, with the invention of daguerreotype, the first practical form of photography. The photograph gave agents of espionage an opportunity to portray targets, documents, and other interests as they actually were (Lerner, 2010). Until the advent of the electronic storage systems in the twentieth century, the photograph was the best method of copying and transmitting information, as the photographed items were taken in the original form. According to Lerner (2010), on 24 May 1844, Samuel Morse, sent the first message via telegraph, and as soon as governments began to use telegraph to send vital communications, rival intelligence services learned to tap the line, gaining access to secret communication and conducting a detailed surveillance from a comfortable distance. The use of telegraph necessitated the development of complex codes and the creation of special cryptology departments.

Intelligence has evolved into being a highly specialized technical field. Far from the battle field and political intrigue of the ancient world, modern intelligence work involves more research and analysis than field operations. Specialized military intelligence agents are still used for strategic intelligence, but most nations have developed large, centralised civilian intelligence communities that conduct operations in war and peace time with increasing technological sophistication (Lerner, 2010).

 A short summary of the origin of intelligence led policing in the United Kingdom, United States of America, and Australia who forms part of the comparative study is as follows.

1.7.5 Intelligence led policing in the United Kingdom

Intelligence led policing, which is also known as intelligence driven policing model, entered the policing circle in the 1990‟s. This model originated in the United Kingdom. Factors, such as the rise of crime during the late 1980‟s and early 1990‟s and the increasing calls for police to be more effective, and cost efficient, led to the establishment of this model of policing in the United Kingdom. The driving forces for this move to a new strategy were both external and internal to policing.

External drivers included an inability of the traditional, reactive model of policing to cope with rapid changes in globalisation which have increased opportunities for transnational organised crime and removed physical and technological barriers across the policing domain. Internally, the rapid growth of private sector security and the loss of confidence by the public in the police as a result of increasing crime rate was a driving force. The 1993 Audit Commission report on the effectiveness of the police provided a strategy which helped the police to reduce crime and gain public confidence. The Commission recorded the following three findings which are regarded as the corner stones of intelligence led policing, namely;

·         Existing roles and the level of accountability lacked integration and efficiency;

·         The police were failing to make the best use of resources ; and

·         Greater emphasis on tackling criminals would be more effective than focusing on crimes (Retcliff, 2003).

1.7.6 Intelligence led policing in the United States of America

In March 2002 an intelligence sharing summit was held in the United States of America. One hundred (100) intelligence experts attended the summit, representing, Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement experts from the United States and Europe. These experts examined the General Criminal Intelligence Plan and the United Kingdom‟s National Intelligence Model as potential blueprints for intelligence led policing in the United States. The summit came up with the following recommendations:

·         Promote intelligence led policing;

·         Provide the critical counterbalance of civil rights;

·         Increase opportunities for building trust;

·         Remedy analytic and information deficits; and

·         Address training and technology issues.

The recommendations of the summit suggested major changes in the way policing should be approached in the United States of America (Peterson, 2005).

1.7.7 Intelligence led policing in Australia

In Australia, intelligence led policing started in the late 1990‟s, advocated by a number of police commissioners. Its adoption included new accountability structures at local level, a greater integration of intelligence and investigation, and improved targeting of daily police efforts through the dissemination of intelligence. Performance outcome reviews, including more dynamic features, were incorporated in a number of Australian jurisdictions in various formats, such as operations and crime reviews (Retcliff, 2003).

1.8 Theoretical Review and Framework of the Study

1.8.1 Giddens’ model of human action

Giddens (1979) presented a model of human action that contained both instrumental and institutional elements, presented in Table II. Giddens described Table II as follows. In day to day activities, people carry substantial knowledge of the workings of their society around them. Their actions tend to have motives derived from instrumental considerations citizens anticipate what the hoped-for outcomes of their action will be. They carry a vocabulary of motive that links cause and effect. In Western society this vocabulary is utilitarian, based on a social and legal concept of individual and the ordering and pursuit of individual preferences. Behavior, he noted, also has unknown or ``unacknowledged conditions’’. This idea is that people do not fully recognize or reflect on all the reasons why they act as they do. Their vocabulary of motive carries religious, familial, and social values, and is rich in symbolisms, rituals, and common-sense ways of thinking that enable participation in social activities. For example, people communicate, but to do so requires a complex signification system. This system is dense with signs that are unconsciously incorporated into communication. It includes notions of personal space, inflections, eye contact, and a host of other significant that clarify the intent of the communicator. Humans further carry powerful values that may be recognized but are not vulnerable to critical or rational consideration for example, whether one should be patriotic, or if one should pray to a god or make a circle for a goddess. Very few of us, for example, can rationally consider the contribution to our diets that might be obtained by eating human young, though cannibalism has been central to many human cultures. Social realities are constructed within a linguistic framework words that carry powerful moral meanings. The meanings associated with the word ``flag’’, ``individualism’’, ``human rights’

Institutional elements

Intentional aspect of action

Unique aspects of time and space

Unacknowledged conditions of action

Reflexive monitoring of action Rationalization of action Motivation of action

Unintended consequences of action

Table II. The structure of social action

``crime’’, for example, are emotionally charged. For many people, to inquire into the legitimacy of the moral meanings carried by these words is out-of-bounds. Language highlights the foreground of social life and creates the possibility of meaningful behavior, ``meaningful’’ referring to moral and ethical commitments. The center of the table shows the different elements that constitute the field of action. Humans reflexively monitor their actions; an activity that Giddens asserts also includes a monitoring of the circumstances in which the act takes place. This is the intentional sphere, by which is meant that humans act within some rationality that associates their behaviors to desired outcomes. The actions are monitored, from which we adapt to our circumstances and develop predictable modes of behavior. Finally, Giddens locates action in historical context. When we reflect on an action, we do so taking into consideration its particular context in space our local geographies, and in time what other things are also going on. Reasons for acting at one time may be different than for another time. For this reason, there can be no general theory of action and by implication, general theory of crime, criminality, or justice system behavior (see Wallerstein and the Culbenkian Commission, 1996). All action is located in space and time (see also Crank, 2003). The model in Table II allows for both institutional and instrumental bases for action things that we take for granted, see as common sense, or simply do not recognize as part of our motivation. The left side of the table is the institutional, and the center, the field of action, is the instrumental. Note that the rational monitoring of action occurs in the instrumental arena institutional values are not part of the monitoring. They are part of the moral, traditional background. The institutional, simply put, provides the social and self-identity apparatus that does the monitoring. The field of rational decision making tends to take the many institutional factors, those that are at the core of personal identity, for granted. A traffic stop can be used to describe the complex interplay between institutional and rational elements of action. Bayley (1986) identifies eight initial actions an officer might take, six processing actions, and ten exit actions. This is a total of 480 possible combinations of actions. The model in Table II suggests that officers will make rational decisions about which of the 480 combinations is most appropriate for any given stop. Officers will not simply randomly select among different actions. They will have observed their training officers, and will have learned from them what seems to work and what does not. Having moved through a series of actions, they will ``reflexively monitor’’ the success of their behavior in the field of action the traffic stop and modify them as appropriate for the next encounter. The officer’s actions at a traffic stop are situated in time and space. This means that their behavior is wholly mediated by its context. In regard to traffic stops, particular actions will be associated with particular kinds of people, neighborhoods, violator behaviors, or times of day. Habituated actions will be those that are taught to a recruit from a trainer, or that one officer learns from another officer, or perhaps heard after the shift or during roll call as a ``story’’. Hence, particular, preferred or stylistic forms of actions will become socially reproduced. Are there unacknowledged or institutional conditions of actions taken during vehicular stops? An officer’s predisposing values may affect her or his decisions. An officer may carry a distrust of particular ethnic groups, of which the driver might be a member, and unintentionally engage in defensive or overly aggressive behavior. Or ethnic differences, such as appropriate personal space, may inadvertently affect an officer’s behavior. Officers may make gender distinctions in approach styles, sensing that women are less dangerous than men. Flirtations during stops are likely to be highly gendered. The officer might be put off by a bumper sticker that reads ``Pigs leave me alone!’’ or alternatively, be friendly to a bumper sticker that reads ``DARE to say no to drugs’’. The entire stop, which is the field of action, takes place within a broader context that is values-dense. The authority to stop an automobile and assert basic procedures of identification review, even in the face of a recalcitrant motorist, is embedded in taken-for-granted authority carried by police officers to control one’s territory and enforce the law. The organization of police work is territorial, and is strongly tied to notions of personal responsibility, a linkage between place and personal responsibility described by Crank (2003) as ``dominion’’. The officer will believe himself or herself obligated to do something. There will be no democratic vote that permits the passengers of the car to decide what the officer does. The officer uses a communicative language, which itself carries society’s foundational categories of social identity. The presence of a common language enables the officer to chastize, inform, or engage in other forms of informal social control that can offset the impulse to invoke formal sanction of law. The categories of meaning created by a particular language suggests that the breadth of ``unacknowledged conditions of action’’ can be quite broad. Random preventive patrol, for example, only has meaning within a notion of deterrent justice, which only has meaning within a conception of individual responsibility. What if notions of group responsibility organized people’s ways of thinking about social control? Random preventive patrol would probably not be as meaningful maybe we would have something like ``household’’ or ``family patrol’’. The phrase ``I am my brother’s keeper’’ would carry the weight of legal sanction. Indeed, the notion of individual responsibility occurs within a democratizing rationality, and other rationalities construct justice in quite different terms (MacIntyre, 1988). This example shows that underlying predispositive ways of categorizing the world around us what Searle (1998) calls `institutional facts’’ organize our way of thinking about the work of institutionalized organizations.

Finally, auxiliary to language is a complex signification system. The officer has spent a lifetime acquiring signs that mediate social relations, learned for the most part at a quite early age, that are taken for granted. We have signs that indicate compatibility eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, body positions, voice inflections, all of which provide taken-for-granted meanings for our actions. Even the relatively harmless ``wink’’ can carry a great deal of meaning, recognizable only within a cultural context (Geertz, 1973). As Giddens (1979, p. 98) noted: ``every act of communication to or between human beings . . . presupposes a signification system as its necessary condition.’’ In sum, institutional factors constitute an underlying web of meanings, to use Geertz’s metaphor, through which the police rationally enact ``justice’’. Police officers make decisions from an individualizing, responsibility assigning, instrumental rationality in which to frame issues of culpability and justice.

1.8.2 Institutional theory of policing

The political pundits love to take a shot at government agencies. The government seems to spend endless time writing reports, holding meetings, and generally wasting taxpayer’s money. Why, they lament, cannot government agencies be run more like businesses? Maybe if they were more business-like, more bottom-line oriented, something would actually get done! The pundits are wrong. Governmental agencies are not like businesses and cannot be recast in their form. Businesses are about an economic bottom line. They have to develop efficiencies in their product core if they want to be competitive in the marketplace. Otherwise a more efficient or creative business will replace them they will figure out how to make a cheaper or more attractive product. Institutionalized organizations operate in environments that are complex, with values. The organizations, to survive, turn their focus ``outward’’ to acknowledge influential constituencies and the values they represent (Meyer and Rowan, 1977). They are typically distinguished from technical organizations, in that technical organizations ``turn inward’’, focused on the efficient and competitive production of a product core.

This is a conception of institutionalism according to which institutions are carried in procedurally defined ``means’’ that provide for appropriate or customary ways of acting. Scott and Meyer (1983, p. 149), for example, noted that ``in institutionalized environments, organizations are rewarded for establishing correct structures and processes’’. This conception is often cont

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