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    Exploring the Contribution and Relationship to Policing and Community Safety of Volunteer Street Patrols

    Westall, Adam ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9655-3213 (2021) Exploring the Contribution and Relationship to Policing and Community Safety of Volunteer Street Patrols. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 15 (4). pp. 2083-2094. ISSN 1752-4512

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    Abstract

    The pluralized policing landscape now widely involves volunteers and the voluntary sector. Volunteer street patrols (VSPs) are individuals who walk the streets of cities and towns at night. Their actions include helping those in need through acts of care, compassion, and prevention. Numerous implications exist for the volunteers who participate in this form of voluntary action, including the level to which volunteers contribute and intervene, the functions they perform within contemporary policing, and the challenges of developing and maintaining relationships with the police and other emergency services. This article argues that VSPs offer a unique and welcomed source of support to the police, providing functions the police are unable to perform. The relationship provides validity, accountability, and opportunity for the volunteers. Over reliance, increased responsibilization and challenges for volunteers delivering policing services highlight tensions in the relationship, which in turn create opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships.

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