Contemporary Issues in Policing: Concepts, Theories, Debates - SAPO5570

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module addresses many of the issues that have shaped the modern practice of policing in recent times. It traces the way in which landmark events have served to mould and shape the daily practice of policing, and the implications that these have for police discretion. The module encourages students to think critically about these issues and to analyse the repercussions that their legacies have had for the routine, everyday social world of police officers and the communities that they serve. Topics include: police-race relations; stop-and-search practice; police cultures; corruption allegations; policing of riots and public disorder; policing of gendered and sexual violence; the rise of police privatisation and vigilantism and the development of performance based cultures.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Criminal Justice and Criminology BA
Social Sciences BSc

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Assignment – 50%
Examination – 50%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Brown, J. (ed) (2014) The Future of Policing Routledge
Newburn, T. (ed) (2008). Handbook of Policing (2nd ed.). Cullompton, Devon, Willan
Newburn, T, (2005) Key Readings in Policing Cullompton, Devon, Willan
Reiner, R. (2010). The Politics of the Police, Oxford: Oxford University
Rowe, M. (2014). Introduction to Policing, Los Angeles, Sage.
Independent Police Commission (2013) Policing for a Better Britain, London.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Have a critical awareness of the pragmatic realities that inform modern policing
8.2 Be able to demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate contemporary issues that affect modern policing
8.3 Be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of how landmark events have helped to mould and shape the culture and operation of the police service in England and Wales
8.4 Be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the political forces which inform the various aspects of policing practice in England and Wales
8.5 Be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the social aspects of policing which inform community interaction and engagement

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Communication skills, communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form for both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
9.2 An ability to critically analyse research, its methods and findings, and official/organisational data
9.3 An ability to successfully apply critical judgement to problems and debates.
9.4 A capacity to use information technology to conduct targeted online searches, and access data sources.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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