Accountability: setting the standards for policing in Northern Ireland

Best, Clifford, G. (2012) Accountability: setting the standards for policing in Northern Ireland. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This thesis will consist of two sections. The first section explores the historical consequences of policing in Northern Ireland (NI), through a comprehensive literature review on police reform and accountability, whilst Section 2 will comprise a contemporaneous case study based on interviews with senior practitioners involved in policing. This thesis will examine the evolution and impact of police accountability and legitimacy, not only in NI, but across the UK, generally. Following a concise summary on the development of policing in Ireland and NI, this thesis will consider whether police reform and legitimacy has been enhanced by the accountability architecture which emerged from the Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland. Section 2 will contribute more understanding of the literature discussed in Section 1, in addition to the methodological limitations and consequences of conducting a qualitative study. Police accountability and legitimacy in NI will then be closely examined through a thematic analysis based on results elucidated from a succession of semi-structured interviews with senior police practitioners in NI. The research findings aim to emphasize opportunities which broaden our knowledge and understanding of police reform and accountability beyond the outcomes generated by the Patten accountability framework.

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