Comparing Volunteer Policing in Malaysia, England and Wales, and the United States of America: Cross-National Findings

Phaik Kin Cheah*, Iain Britton, Matthew Callender, Ross Wolf, Laura Knight, Prabha Unnithan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This article offers a tri-national comparison between Malaysia, England and Wales and the United States of America Design/methodology/approach: It is based on reviewing, collating, comparing and contrasting previous research findings and official reports on the topic with a view to identify recurrent commonalities in the three countries studied. Findings: Three key common themes are identified and presented in the article: (1) The relevance of the cultural positioning of volunteers in policing; (2) the importance of understanding the roles and capability of police volunteers; (3) recognizing prerequisites for recruitment of volunteers and the nature of their subsequent training. Research limitations/implications: We suggest that more detailed comparative studies of volunteer policing structures and officer roles would be valuable. Practical implications: The practice implications of these findings are discussed, and the potential value of and major challenges in carrying out cross-national national comparative study in the field of volunteer policing shown. Social implications: The paper discusses important issues in the role and value of police volunteerism to criminal justice and society. Originality/value: There are few international comparisons of volunteer policing and even fewer that compare approaches between Western and Eastern countries. This is the first study to do so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • Auxiliary
  • International
  • Reserve
  • Special constabulary
  • Volunteer policing


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