Governing the police by numbers: the French experience

By Jacques de Maillard and Christian Mouhanna in Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence: New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe, 2016, pp. 273-298.

 

Governing the police by numbers: the French experience

Like many other public administrations, police organizations have always used figures designed to show the efficiency and effectiveness of their services (Wilson, 1963; Lopez, 2007). At all levels of police administration, the use of performance indicators is common currency, both internally (for personnel management) and for communication with external partners. But it is undeniable that numerical data has assumed a wider scope due to the extension of new management techniques within these organizations, as well as due to the budgetary constraints affecting all European countries in recent years. This article aims to question the effects of using these indicators, both inside police organizations and in their relations with the outside world. Our example is the French National Police, focusing on the last fifteen years (2000–2014).

 

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