Policing the Risk Society by Richard V. Ericson (Professor of Law, Professor Sociology and Principal of Green College, Professor of Law, Professor Sociology and Principal of Green College, University of British Columbia)
In this provocative new book, Richard Ericson and Kevin Haggerty contend that the police have become information brokers to institutions such as insurance companies and health and welfare organizations that operate based on a knowledge of risk. In turn, these institutions influence the ways that police officers think and act. A critical review of existing research reveals the need to study police interaction with institutions as well as individuals. These institutions are part of an emerging "risk society" where knowledge of risk is used to control danger. The authors examine different aspects of police involvement; the use of surveillance technologies and the collection of data on securities, careers and different social, ethnic, age and gender groups. They conclude by looking at how police organizations have been forced to develop new communications rules and technologies to meet external demands for knowledge of risk. This is the first book in this field to include detailed evidence of some of the central tenets of the risk society. It also includes a sophisticated examination of the risk society theory that will advance readers' knowledge considerably. With this book, the authors revolutionize the study of policing, and their work will impact heavily on scholars in criminology, social theory, and communications as well as policing and the public.