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Accountability and Transparency: Police Forces in England and Wales

Murphy, P.; Eckersley, P.; Ferry, L.

Accountability and Transparency: Police Forces in England and Wales Thumbnail


P. Murphy

P. Eckersley


Between 2010 and 2015, the UK’s Coalition Government introduced directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners to oversee English and Welsh police forces, and also required every force to publish a range of performance and financial information online. Together with the fact that front-line policing services have not been outsourced or privatised, this suggests that strong ‘downwards’ mechanisms exist through which residents can hold their local force to account. However, the new arrangements are significantly more complex than their predecessors, because many more actors are involved – several of which assume the role of both ‘principal’ and ‘agent’ in different accountability relationships. As a result, there is a substantial risk that the public do not have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, which makes it more difficult to hold officials to account for their actions. Such findings highlight how direct elections do not necessarily make public officials more accountable, and therefore have implications for other jurisdictions and sectors.


Murphy, P., Eckersley, P., & Ferry, L. (2017). Accountability and Transparency: Police Forces in England and Wales. Public Policy and Administration, 32(3), 197-213.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 4, 2016
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 30, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2016
Journal Public Policy and Administration
Print ISSN 0952-0767
Electronic ISSN 1749-4192
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 197-213
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (337 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Murphy, P. and Eckersley, P. and Ferry, L. (2017) 'Accountability and transparency : police forces in England and Wales.', Public policy and administration., 32 (3). pp. 197-213. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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