Australian Institute of Criminology

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Globally, police forces are increasing their use of specialist units within their organisational structure. Specialist units are generally either technical in nature (eg forensics), or operational (eg drug or fraud squads) and require innovative performance measurement frameworks to properly evaluate their effectiveness within the broader policing context.

In this report, the development of a performance measurement framework for Auckland Metropolitan Crime and Operational Support (AMCOS), a specialist policing unit of the New Zealand Police, is described. AMCOS encompasses a range of technical and niche units supporting policing operations in New Zealand. The performance framework, reflecting the roles and functions of the unit 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 that also reflects on analytical and theoretical aspects of performance measurement systems. The AIC’s Technical and Background Paper series is aimed at methodological research that informs best practice and this paper will provide police services with an insight into the development of a successful framework that has assisted NZ policing to monitor and improve its performance.

Adam Tomison