The Police Role in Crime Prevention: Learning the Lessons of a Comparative Journey From Taipei (Taiwan) to Manchester (UK) and Back Again

Lan-Ying Huang, University of Manchester

Ours is an age of comparisons. Cross-national experience is having an increasingly powerful impact upon policymakers and practitioners, as governments look to other countries for new ways of organising and delivering services. Yet the complexities, meanings and understandings that inform comparative research, the organisational embeddedness of particular strategies and practices, and the contextual nature of 'lesson drawing' and policymaking are often only poorly articulated and understood. This paper explores these issues through an analysis of a comparative case-study of the role of the police in crime prevention in England and Wales and Taiwan. The first section outlines the forces which can be said to underpin the comparative moment and the issues facing the comparative researcher. Part two presents a specific account of the police role and function in the much heralded repeat victimization strategy in England and wales, and considers its singificance for the police in Taiwan; the data comprise fieldwork interviews and analyses of published sources. I conclude the paper by reflecting both upon the broader implications of the growing international market and exchange in police practices and upon realistic ways forward for the Taiwanese police in crime prevention.

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Updated 05/20/2006