This article looks at counter-terrorism policing in relation to police-community engagement and partnership. The article particularly focuses on the issue of trust, this being a seldom researched notion both in policing and in counter-terrorism. The article presents data from an AHRC/ESRC funded study examining police-community engagement and partnership in relation to counter-terrorism. A key finding that is highlighted in the article is that in a low-trust context, as characterized by “new terrorism,” it is important for police officers to focus initially upon building contingent trust by trust-building activities that demonstrate trustworthiness. Partnerships between police and members of Muslim communities carrying out sensitive intervention work with those deemed at risk from committing acts of terrorism appear to feature implicit trust. These partnerships are less focused upon short-term outcomes, but rather, individuals are committed to these relationships so that within the partnerships themselves trust is implicit between officers and Muslim community members. This suggests that police within specialist counter-terrorism units underpinned specifically by principles of community policing are best placed to provide the kind of long-term interaction and trust-building that is required for sensitive partnership work to take place, for contingent trust to be built into implicit trust.
Community Policing, Trust and Muslim Communities in relation to 'New Terrorism' politics & policy
2 December 2010
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