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What Do We Mean by De-Escalation in Police-Citizen Encounters? A Scoping Review on the Conceptualization, Definition, Techniques, and Effectiveness

This paper aims to support the growing scope of research investigating the effectiveness of de-escalation by police officers. Through a scoping review, we analyzed the conceptualization of de-escalation by identifying the de-escalation definitions, techniques, and measures of ...

Published onJul 01, 2024
What Do We Mean by De-Escalation in Police-Citizen Encounters? A Scoping Review on the Conceptualization, Definition, Techniques, and Effectiveness
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Abstract

This paper aims to support the growing scope of research investigating the effectiveness of de-escalation by police officers. Through a scoping review, we analyzed the conceptualization of de-escalation by identifying the de-escalation definitions, techniques, and measures of effectiveness. A comprehensive search of five databases (i.e., Criminal Justice Abstracts, APA PsychInfo, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, and International Bibliography of the Social Sciences) yielded 18 studies in the police and public order domain that described at least one de-escalation technique as part of their data. By summarizing and synthesizing the literature, we provide a conceptual definition of de-escalation and a detailed overview of all techniques found in the included literature. Finally, we offer suggestions for future research to build upon these results and expand the evidence base on the efficiency of de-escalation techniques, as well as directions on how the results can be implemented in developing de-escalation training.

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