Performance Measurement in Specialist Policing

A Tough Nut to Crack: Performance Measurement in Specialist Policing


Australian Institute of Criminology


Zhivan Alach & Charl Crous

As police forces worldwide increase the number of specialist units within their organizational structures, they require innovative performance measurement frameworks to properly evaluate the effectiveness of these units within the broader policing context. Specialist units are generally either technical in nature (e.g. forensics) or operational (e.g. drug or fraud squads).

This report describes the development of a performance measurement framework for Auckland Metropolitan Crime and Operational Support (AMCOS), a specialist policing unit of the New Zealand Police. AMCOS encompasses a range of technical and niche units supporting policing operations in New Zealand. The performance framework reflects the roles and functions of the unit and covers forensic performance measures, operations support performance measures, intelligence performance measures and investigations performance measures.

The authors have written at a practical level that will assist practitioners to develop similar frameworks that can meet the needs of their specialist units, but they also reflect on analytical and theoretical aspects of performance measurement systems.

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