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Police deviance and community relations in Trinidad and Tobago

Police deviance and community relations in Trinidad and Tobago Purpose – Corruption and poor relations with citizens are known to be pervasive in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). Police deviance permeates all levels of the TTPS and threatens the sustainability of reforms. The purpose of this study is to explore the nature and consequences of police deviance in Trinidad and Tobago through the perspectives of community leaders. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained through individual and focus group interviews with members of local community‐based and non‐governmental organizations and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service in 2009. The data were examined to reveal respondents' perceptions concerning the nature and consequences of police deviance as well as its solutions. Findings – The types of police deviance that emerged as major themes were inadequate crime control and protection of citizens, maltreatment of citizens, capricious response to criminals and bias toward less serious crimes, and police corruption and collusion with criminals. However, respondents also offered solutions and expressed optimism about police‐community cooperation. Social implications – Results suggest both the need and potential to improve police‐citizen relations and reduce police deviance. The paper discusses possible solutions, giving special attention to sustainability and democratic policing reform. Originality/value – Very little research has been conducted on police deviance in the Caribbean. The few studies that can be found focus on brutality and rely more on police survey and official data. Using in‐depth interview data, the current study adds to this small body of research by describing the impact of police deviance on community relations in Trinidad and Tobago. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Emerald Publishing

Police deviance and community relations in Trinidad and Tobago

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1363-951X
DOI
10.1108/13639511111157519
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Corruption and poor relations with citizens are known to be pervasive in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). Police deviance permeates all levels of the TTPS and threatens the sustainability of reforms. The purpose of this study is to explore the nature and consequences of police deviance in Trinidad and Tobago through the perspectives of community leaders. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained through individual and focus group interviews with members of local community‐based and non‐governmental organizations and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service in 2009. The data were examined to reveal respondents' perceptions concerning the nature and consequences of police deviance as well as its solutions. Findings – The types of police deviance that emerged as major themes were inadequate crime control and protection of citizens, maltreatment of citizens, capricious response to criminals and bias toward less serious crimes, and police corruption and collusion with criminals. However, respondents also offered solutions and expressed optimism about police‐community cooperation. Social implications – Results suggest both the need and potential to improve police‐citizen relations and reduce police deviance. The paper discusses possible solutions, giving special attention to sustainability and democratic policing reform. Originality/value – Very little research has been conducted on police deviance in the Caribbean. The few studies that can be found focus on brutality and rely more on police survey and official data. Using in‐depth interview data, the current study adds to this small body of research by describing the impact of police deviance on community relations in Trinidad and Tobago.

Journal

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 23, 2011

Keywords: Police deviance; Community relations; Trinidad and Tobago; Police misconduct; Attitudes to the police; Community policing

References