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Police as knowledge brokers and keepers of the peace: perceptions of community policing in Tuvalu

Howes, LM ORCID: 0000-0002-5656-6121, Watson, D and Newett, L 2020 , 'Police as knowledge brokers and keepers of the peace: perceptions of community policing in Tuvalu' , Police Practice and Research , pp. 1-18 , doi:

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Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face externally driven changes, including an international human rights agenda. Tuvalu was the first PIC to develop a National Action Plan on human rights, with a focus on improving the circumstances for women, children, and people with disabilities. Achieving these objectives requires a whole-of-government approach and a comprehensive process of community consultation. This study, undertaken at the request of the Tuvalu Police Service as part of a community consultation process, aimed to explore perceptions of policing. Interview participants (N= 79) included community members (n = 63) and police officers (n = 16). English translations of interview transcripts were systematically coded and analysed thematically. Alcohol misuse was identified as a central cause for concern associated with disharmony in families and communities. Community members recognised various resourcing constraints, but nevertheless expected a high standard of police service delivery. Reflecting a community policing ethos, both groups endorsed roles for police officers as knowledge brokers and keepers of the peace. Participants emphasised the need for police to work together with community leaders to find ways to bridge the gaps between the traditional and formal justice systems. Future research is needed to explore ways to better align the formal and traditional systems that contribute to progress on human rights.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Howes, LM and Watson, D and Newett, L
Keywords: Pacific island countries, community policing, human rights, hybrid justice
Journal or Publication Title: Police Practice and Research
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1561-4263
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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