Ambiguous exchanges and the police

Peter Grabosky, Julie Ayling*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This article analyses exchange relationships involving public police agencies and external institutions. It specifies three general forms of exchange (Coercion, Sale and Gift), then observes that, in practice, the three may not be mutually exclusive. It identifies ambiguities that may exist within exchange relationships, and discusses the implications of these for three important aspects of police performance: efficiency or value for money; equity in the distribution of police services; and the legitimacy of the police organisation. The article concludes that managing ambiguity in exchange relations has become a challenge of 21st century policing, and that police are well advised to have elaborate guidelines in place to govern their exchange relations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-28
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Law
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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