This paper researches the quality of democratic control of the public police in a democratic society. Governance structures tend to be complex, reflecting that in democratic societies the police perform a wide range of tasks, both (inter) nationally and locally. Given the variety of police authorities and consultations at different levels, is there room for adequate democratic oversight? In this article, a theoretical frame on democratic control is drawn up which is applied on the recently established Dutch system of national police. Based on an extensive multi-method field research the authors conclude that the governance of the Dutch national police is not multi-level, that centralist influences are strong, that the mechanisms for vertical integration of local concerns in national policies are weak, and that there is a democratic deficit within the Dutch police system.

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Police Practice and Research
Department of Public Administration

van Sluis, A, & Devroe, E. (Elke). (2019). Checks and balances in democratic control of public police. A case study of the Dutch national police after the reform. Police Practice and Research. doi:10.1080/15614263.2019.1699410