Contingency and politics: The local government community safety officer role

Cherney, Adrian (2004) Contingency and politics: The local government community safety officer role. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 4 2: 115-128. doi:10.1177/1466802504044911

Author Cherney, Adrian
Title Contingency and politics: The local government community safety officer role
Journal name Criminology & Criminal Justice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-8958
Publication date 2004-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1466802504044911
Volume 4
Issue 2
Start page 115
End page 128
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, U. K
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 1602 Criminology
390403 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Formatted abstract
Community safety officers have become central to the delivery of crime prevention and community safety policy both in Australia and elsewhere. This article reviews the community safety officer (CSO) role in local government and provides results from interviews with CSOs in the Australian state of Victoria. The experiences, challenges and problems faced by CSOs in implementing Victorian schemes are outlined. It is argued that the focus by governments and criminologists on developing training packages, competencies and identifying ‘what works’ discounts the administrative and political environments in which local level CSOs work. These contexts present obstacles to strategy development and implementation. Likewise a similar criticism is made of the governmentality thesis, that it too fails to engage with and interrogate local practice, overlooking issues of contingency and agency that encompass the CSO role. It is concluded that this role is one concerned with change management, and that building CSO capacity requires the devolution of authority, resources and decision-making powers. Understanding how CSOs manage the barriers and ‘crisis’ they face in crime prevention and community safety will tell us more about ‘what works’ that is germane to effective policy development and implementation.
© 2004 SAGE Publications
Keyword Australia
Capacity building
Community safety officers
Crime prevention
Governmentality thesis
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 28 Mar 2006, 20:20:03 EST