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Embracing RiskThe Changing Culture of Insurance and Responsibility$
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Tom Baker and Jonathan Simon

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226035185

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226035178.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 31 March 2020

The Policing of Risk

The Policing of Risk

(p.238) Ten The Policing of Risk
Embracing Risk

Richard V. Ericson

Kevin D. Haggerty

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines police as agents of a risk society. Police increasingly function as knowledge collectors for insurance companies and other private and governmental systems of risk assessment and distribution. The chapter explores how policing risk entails population management well beyond crime control per se. In the language of economic sociology, risk management has led policing, like insurance, to become increasingly institutionally embedded. This embeddedness means that external institutions affect how the police investigate crime and classify data. Indeed, the “risk knowledge” requirements of other institutions often determine whether an incident requires police action. The chapter raises questions about the potential consequences of risk management. For example, the recently developed “closed box” classification system of police reporting threatens a significant risk: constricting the space for creative problem solving in crime investigations and analyses.

Keywords:   policing, risk assessment, risk distribution, population management, embeddedness, risk management, police action, crime investigation

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