Using soft power for crime prevention and reduction: the experience of Abu Dhabi police

Masters Thesis

Alhanaee, M. 2018. Using soft power for crime prevention and reduction: the experience of Abu Dhabi police. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
AuthorsAlhanaee, M.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMSc

The concepts of soft power and soft policing had long been part of the Western approaches for crime reduction and prevention and had become viable tools to supplement the conventional hard approaches usually utilised in the policing context. Although there is a bulk of research pointing out the advantages of introducing soft policing, most of the research had been conducted in Western countries where the need to reform operations to ensure that citizens’ concerns are taken into consideration has been longer appreciated.

Nevertheless, soft tools are gradually introduced in Middle East countries, as higher-ranking officers and policy-makers understand that hard and repressive measures are not going to win the trust of local communities whose engagement is vital for successful crime prevention.

Due to the lack of literature surrounding the use of soft policing in non-western contexts, the present work investigated soft policing in the Abu Dhabi context. This novel research explored perceptions of a varied population of police officers surrounding soft policing via questionnaires analysed using descriptive statistics. This quantitative element was further supported and triangulated through qualitative interviews with high ranking police officers analysed using thematic analysis.

The research findings uncovered that Abu Dhabi police officers are largely familiar with the overall concept of soft power and are willing to implement it when dealing with local communities. However, more specific knowledge was inconsistent. Whilst a number of soft policing tools had been initiated across the Emirates in order to improve police-community relations, embracing soft policing had also led to a number of practical challenges for officers who previously used predominately hard tools in their careers. Abu Dhabi Police needs to develop more opportunities for training for its police officers to ensure that they are comfortable in using soft tools in their daily activities and evaluate its strategies.

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Publication process dates
Deposited19 Feb 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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