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Edinburgh Executive Sessions in Policing.The challenges of localism within national policing arrangements:the Netherlands and Scotland in comparative perspective

Date of event: October 21, 2016

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Event Briefing

There are striking similarities between policing in Scotland and the Netherlands. Both countries saw the introduction of a national police service and are going through a process of reform. Both police services are faced with the question of how to shape local policing within a national framework. In both instances, the reforms, present an opportunity to reinvent policing.

But there are also differences.

This Edinburgh Executive Session, with representatives from Police Scotland, SPA, HMICS, Scottish Government, Dutch Police, Dutch Government, and academics from Scotland and the Netherlands, was conducted under Chatham House Rules.

  • Welcome and Opening Comments Paddy Tomkins, SIPR Associate
  • Introduction to the Executive Sessions concept Alistair Henry, SIPR

The challenge of localism: policing perspectives

Discussion led by:

  • Mandy Paterson, Police Scotland
  • Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg / Jeroen Berndsen, Dutch Police

The challenges of localism: governance and stakeholder perspectives

Discussion led by:

  • Alistair Henry (SIPR)
  • John Foley, SPA and Derek Penman, HMICS
  • Patrick van den Brink / Michel Bravo, Dutch Police

Community Policing in comparative perspective: what works, where, how and why?

Discussion led by:

  • Megan O’Neill and Liz Aston (SIPR)
  • Benjamin van Gelderen / Robert Jan Lambrichs, Dutch Police

Thinking about performance at the local level
Discussion led by:

  • James Mitchell (Edinburgh University)
  • Auke van Dijk / Jorren Scherpenisse / Hubert Jan Albert, Dutch Police

For further details, please contact the Business and Knowledge Transfer Manager, Tim Heilbronn (

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