Blue Knights Operating at International Level
Blue Knights Operating at Local LevelBlue Knight at Local Level - Proactive Vs. Reactive Policing
Blue Knight Organization
Blue Knight Principles
Tools and Facilities for Blue Knight
Operational Intelligence Facility
Resource Allocation and Effectiveness Management
Blue Knight Accoutrements
(N.B. The title and concepts of "Blue Knight©" are the copyright of Ian Beckett, PhD)
Blue Knights Operating at International Level
Blue Knights, operating at international level, can: -
- mediate between opposing factions:-
- possibly before full-scale conflagration, with a view to preventing further conflict and the need for outside intervention
- work with, and through, the indigenous police force to:-
- derive intelligence
- reorganize, retrain, and redirect the indigenous police force to make it acceptable to all warring factions, i.e. to restore trust where it has been prejudiced
- supervise delicate police operations
- negotiate with warring factions
- locate and arrest criminals and war-criminals
- work with, and through, local military forces to:-
- co-ordinate their actions with those of the indigenous police
- teach/train soldiers in peacekeeping operations
- adjudicate over breaches of protocol or behaviour
- negotiate with warring factions
- locate and arrest criminals and war criminals
- should an international force be invoked, co-ordinate the policing practices of multi-national force contingents:-
- teaching/training soldiers in peacekeeping - on-the-job training
- harmonizing databases with respect to other contingents and with the indigenous police
- briefing commanders on local intelligence and the "state of play"
- investigating breaches of protocol or good behaviour
Throughout, Blue Knights operate with to the highest ethical and moral standards and with total objectivity and impartiality.
So, Blue Knights, with their Guardian Angels providing high quality intelligence support, can be used both to neutralize serious outbreaks and to help manage conflict once any outbreak has occurred. Blue Knights operate within the relevant law, of course, and under the auspices of a suitable authority - either the UN, or a national government. Blue Knights are "invited in" to act as a catalyst for Peace.
Blue Knights Operating at Local Level
At local level, Blue Knights operate generally as part of the local police force, although this is not essential:-
- Since some Blue Knights are drawn from sources other than the police (qv) it may be pragmatic in some instances to form separate teams of Blue Knights.
- Such teams could operate either as discrete, pro-active arms of the police or, conceivably, as independent operators
- As independents, Blue Knights would generally work in close co-operation with the police
- unless there were good reason not to
The role, functions and technologies of Blue Knights and their Guardian Angels are well defined and established. Before looking at Blue Knight, in its local guise, in any detail, it would be helpful to review the current policing scene, as it has developed in recent years.
- Blue Knights are Peace Officers.
- The mission of Blue Knights is prevention of disorder and crime: -
- They anticipate, manage, and resolve conflict
- They operate within the principles and ideals set out by Sir Robert Peel, and more
- They employ technology to extend their performance within those principles and ideals
- They are champions and guardians of the people
- They protect the weak and vulnerable, challenge the predator and aggressor
- Blue Knights operate "out there" within the communities and societies from which, ideally, they are drawn, as opposed to "in here" i.e. in some fortress, bunker, compound, section-house, bridewell or station
- Blue Knights co-operate with each other to create a lattice throughout a society or culture dedicated to creating, holding and building Peace. They thus act as a calming influence, or dampening field, throughout the "social fluid"
- Blue Knights are proactive: -
- They encourage communities to help themselves.
- They build relationships, protect the vulnerable, challenge the predators.
- Blue Knights operate at every level: -
- Long before a nation descends into the depths of internal struggle that necessitates reluctant and expensive intervention by the UN, or NATO, Blue Knights can be invoked to tackle the problem, to anticipate and prevent immense human misery
- Blue Knights mediate within Peacekeeping forces, between such forces and the indigenous population, their police and social services
- Individual Blue Knights can be identified, selected and recruited from disturbed nations, trained and returned to tackle the problems from within
- Experienced Blue Knights can be shipped in to act as catalysts, recruiting, training, and demonstrating by example in close co-operation with indigenous police, social services, etc.
- Blue Knights also operate as part of, or in parallel with, well-established police forces, as in the US and the UK, where the emphasis on crime fighting has been seen to be an expensive, flawed experiment, treating the symptoms but failing to recognise the disease
Blue Knight at Local Level - Proactive Vs. Reactive Policing
The figure shows a Causal Loop Model (see Systems Thinking on this website) to illustrate some of the relationships that appear in modern policing at the local level. In particular the figure shows the different effects of reactive policing - generally, crime fighting - and proactive policing, the stuff of Blue Knights. In the model, hollow arrowheads indicate that the two ends of the arrow act in sympathy. Filled-in arrow heads indicate that the two ends of the arrow act in opposition, i.e. as one rises the other falls and vice versa.
Social turbulence in any dynamic society tends to prejudice relationships within comunities, families, etc. So, we find many people living on their own, travelling significant distances to work, living in dormitary towns, having little community involvement. These and other people form disconnected social elements. While many such people are perfectly well-behaved, there is a tendency for some to take to crime and, by the very fact of their disconnection, they constitute disorder in the broadest sense of that word.
Reactive policing responds to the crime and reduces it - red lines in the figure. Unfortunately, there is more to it than that. Crime causes a general Fear of Crime, fanned by the media so that even those who have never experienced crime, the weak and the vulnerable. go in fear for their lives, safety and property. Often, this fear may be irrational: it is nonetheless real, and can seriously impair quality of life, causing people to stay in their homes after dark, avoid public places and adopt a siege mentality in their houses. As the figure shows, this leads to a reduction in the Cohesiveness of Society as people isolate themselves. The process is social disintegration or social fragmentation - both terms are used.
Proactive Policing works quite differently. It's aim in such a scenario is to improve social bonding and positive social interation, to "include everybody in." And this is not just soft, sociology bunk. It has often been noted that small villages, archetypically in Wales, are comprised of tight-knit communities where everybody knows everybody else. Such tight-knit communities often need very little formal policing - in effect, they do their own. If a youngster gets out of hand, offended parties will know his parents and teachers, and will "have a word." Hacidic Jewish communities in N. London similalry self-police very effectively, with everyone knowing everyone else, and the whole community acting as one towards transgressors both from within and without that community.
Proactive Policing, then, seeks to reassure, to reintroduce, to cross-connect, to overcome social barriers, to help, to protect...Today's policemen know this in their hearts. It is amazing how many police officers are involved in community activities: youth clubs, sporting clubs, community action groups, etc. They seem to do this spontaneously, and gain no noticeable credit from their superiors. As Blue Knights, these activites would be part of their everyday activities.
The figure shows both Reactive and Proactive policing acting together. In theory, they should. In practice, most police effort goes towards countering crime. Mentally cancel all the Blue lines from the figure, leaving only the Red and the Black, to reveal the situation facing many communities today. With crime, and the fear of crime, reducing cohesiveness (i.e. reducing social capital) societies are experiencing more and more disconnected social elements, leading to more crime and an endless cycle. Is this why the red regression line on the crime statistics above is slowly accelerating? Is this why police are working ever harder just to keep up? Is this why only 5% of crime is detected and dealt with?
The three parts in this figure build up to the same ideas. Number 1 shows (some of) the relationships between crime, disorder and fear. Disorder encourages crime, and crime encourages disorder. Similarly, Disorder and fear stoke each other up. (I should mention that I am using the term "disorder" in a broader sense than the police. Here disorder means anything that is not ordered, i.e. related, connected and in its appropriate pattern.
Number 2 adds in the effects of neighbouring and victime helping - both indicators of a healthy society. Fear tends to detract from neighbouring while, on the other hand, neighbouring reduces fear. Finally at Number 3 we see how Blue Knights fit into the picture. Some officers are inevitably needed to address crime, leaving the remainder to undertake proactive policing, seeking to reduce disorder and fear, and to increase neighbouring. If the Blue Knights get it right, two results accrue: -
- Disorder falls, and along with it the crime rate falls as society calms, allowing an increasing number of officers to undertake pro-active policing
- Quality of life improves in the communities and societies as fear is reduced and people become more confident, assured and co-operative
Number 3 also suggests that there may be a need to "prime the pump." If a community is already in the grip of crime and fear, then it is likely that all available police are dedicated to crime fighting. It may not be practicable to climb out of this state without assistance. So, a task force would be required to a) assist with addressing the crime wave, and b) to start up the Blue Knight programme.
Blue Knight Organization
Once the Blue Knight programme sees results, the crime figures will drop, the additional officers can be withdrawn as there is a progressive change in emphasis from crime fighting to pro-active peacekeeping, and as the community regains control of their own society and territory.
Note how this unfolding situation reflects at local level the progression from Peacemaking to Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding at international level with which we started.
The figure shows how Blue Knights operate in this simple, community-based scenario. They take part in Patrol duties, since they can only operate effectively by being within and part of the community. As the figure shows, there will be many Blue Knights dispersed throughout the population, with little regard for crime statistics, acting as a dampening field. Mistake number one is to allocate patrol resources by crime hotspots. Instead they should be allocated by population density, regardless of how well, or badly behaved that population might be. Blue Knights are able to communicate directly with, and assist, each other and must be mutually close enough to respond in a sensible time.
Blue Knights do not simply wander at will, although there may be some of that to explore territories. Instead they operate on the basis of intelligence. The intelligence officer may be thought of as a Guardian Angel, in continual radio contact with each Blue Knight, offering guidance, advice and information to the Blue Knight as the occasion requires. The Guardian Angel employs an operational intelligence database, formed around a Profile of the area. A typical database schema will be shown later. The profile data is stored by geographical location. In addition to background, slowly-changing data such as the location of houses, individuals, telephones, emergency service, etc., it also stores data on personalities, relationships, histories, who is doing what to whom... etc.
This more volatile, ephemeral data is acquired largely by the Blue Knight as he or she patrols his/her territory, meeting people, visiting the old and vulnerable, going to drinking establishments, looking around businesses, visiting youth clubs, etc. Over a period of time, the Profile builds up to be a mine of data which the Guardian Angel can organize and analyze. He/she (hereafter simply 'he' for brevity) can develop indicators of the state of a society or community, indicators of disorder and of impending difficulties. In short he can identify current state and future intentions - the essence of intelligence. Working with patrolling Blue Knights, The Guardian Angel can anticipate problems and the Blue Knights can be on the spot to prevent disorder, crime, whatever.
For Blue Knights to interact effectively with the communities they serve, they must of course be respected rather than feared, and they must also be approachable if they are to elicit information. This means that, generally, they must operate alone - how often have we seen patrol officers, in pairs, talking to each other, oblivious to what is going on around them, and completely unapproachable.
So there emerges the picture of a seemingly-lone Blue Knight, protector of the weak, champion of the people - but fully connected to other Blue Knights and supported by the Guardian angel.
This archetype of the lone hero is important. Throughout history there have been individuals in truth and in myth, who have stood up for the people. The Knights of King Arthur's Round Table offer one such myth, Robin Hood, another, while the Texas Rangers offer a more recent example, a mixture of truth and legend. Of these, perhaps Arthur's Knights present the most appropriate archetype, for several reasons: -
- The Round Table represents the brotherhood of knights, all dedicated to the same cause, all equal around the table, and all able and willing to share their knowledge skills and experience. It was from the Round Table that their missions were tasked and legitimized.
- The Round Table, with its code of ethics, morals and chivalry, also represents the conscience of the Blue Knight, and, in part at least, it also represents his Guardian Angel
- The Knights followed a code of chivalry: -
- "...then the king established all his knights and to them that were of lands not rich, he gave them lands, and charged them never to do outrageousity nor murder, and always to flee treason; also by no mean to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asketh mercy, upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of King Arthur for evermore; and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen succour upon pain of death. Also, that no man take no battles in a wrongful quarrel for no law, nor for no world's goods. Unto this were all the knights sworn of the Round Table, both old and young..."
Morte D'Arthur, Malory, 1460
Evidently, the words have dated, but the sentiment remains. The land was to give the knights a stake, and to ensure they were out of temptation's reach. They were to be impartial, fair, protect the weak and vulnerable and to be beyond bribe and coercion.
The Knight Errant also characterizes the lone Blue Knight, looking for situations to resolve, causes to champion, dragons to slay...
The Siege Perilous, to be sat in only by the purest knight, suggests degrees of knightly virtue. Blue Knights, too, need to earn their spurs, to graduate through experience to ever higher levels
The Holy Grail is represented by a peaceful, free and energized, society, by the ideal quality of life for all, free from pressure, fear and constraint.
Operating a Blue Knight© programme requires sound organization and management. Blue Knight© is not some soft option; it requires dedicated officers, of high energy, integrity and self-discipline. The figure shows how activities "behind the scenes" take place - these are, essentially, the activities of the Round Table. Bottom left of the figure simply repeats the previous figure. In addition, we can now see: -
- Intelligence analysis, largely the domain of the Guardian Angel. He or she may establish a number of intelligence "tables" each having a separate purpose.
- One might be concerned with drugs related activities; another might concern itself with car theft, another with ex-prisoners returning to the society, yet another with youth disorder, and so on.
- Each table is built up within the overall intelligence database, and can be superimposed on the geographically-based Profile
- Where the tables show a shortfall in intelligence, and more information is needed, an intelligence collection plan will be developed to identify what further data is needed, and how it might best be derived.
- Blue Knights may also find themselves involved in complex problems: homelessness and sleeping rough; refuges for battered wife; disorder from all-night raves; reactions against travellers; etc., etc.
- They may need to undertake some problem solving, probably as part of a group such as the Round Table, or on a wider basis with other community services.
- The outcome of such activities may be a further need for intelligence, and/or action tasks for the Blue Knights
- The various tasks, both direct action and intelligence gathering, form a so-called "menu" of tasks for Blue Knights.
- The term menu is used to indicate that individual Blue Knights may select from the list of tasks as they see fit, and according to the conditions and situations they might find on the ground
- They would normally be expected to complete the set of tasks in some specified period
- The whole figure represents a self-organizing control loop, with Blue Knights at the focus, backed up and supported by the Round Table, and the Guardian Angel
- The Blue Knight is not controlled. He or she is in charge of themselves and their own activities, but they are supported and the activities of several Blue Knights can be co-ordinated
- This organization is appliccable at any level from local to international. In a turbulent situation, only the Blue Knights need be forward in the area of concern. The Guardian Angel, the database and the Round Table could be in a quite different country, for instance, or might be mobile in an aircraft or offshore in a ship.
The N2 table above shows the various relationships and information moving around the control loop. Note that Level 1 = reactive Peacemaking demands, while Levels 2 and 3 correspond to Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding respectively.
Blue Knight Principles
- Prime Directive. The primary objective is to maintain order, to restore order where disorder has occurred and to progressively reduce levels of disorder
- Presence. To maintain order effectively requires a continual, at times even a continuous, presence in the areas to be policed
- Geographic Policing. Geographic policing is the simplest, most direct and most effective approach to providing a continual or continuous presence across a territory
- Minimum Policing Levels. All areas require some level of policing; any area left without police will attract disorder, which is likely to create a greater demand for policing in the long run
- Promoting Self-Help. Ideally, communities and societies would be able largely to police themselves in many respects, by virtue of mutual helping, neighbouring and support. (Close-knit communities characteristically exhibit this capacity for self-policing.) So, a constructive role for the police is to promote and reinforce cohesive community behaviour, neighbouring, self-help, mutual helping, etc.
- Emergency Reaction. Fast, reactive policing is, and will remain, essential to address genuine emergency issues and to inspire justified confidence in the public
- Prevention through Presence (Deterrence). Maintaining a continual or continuous presence to deter offenders, keep the peace, reassure the vulnerable and generally maintain order has the important consequence of reducing crime and therefore some elements of reactive demand
- Optimum Apportionment. Increasing the supply of pro-active police reduces the demand for reactive police. Pro-active policing also reassures the public and tackles disorder more effectively than reactive policing. In any area there will be, at any particular time, an optimum apportionment of officers between reactive and proactive policing respectively
- Tackling Root Causes. Disadvantaged environments and social conditions foster disorder and crime. Reductions in disorder and crime may be achievable by solving environmental and social problems, probably in co-operation with other agencies
- Complementary Methods. Whereas introducing (or discontinuing) a continual presence has a relatively immediate effect on area crime and disorder, solving environmental and social problems takes rather longer to show effect, but has a commensurately longer-lasting consequence. Therefore, maintaining the peace and solving environmental/social problems are complementary and are most effective when applied together
- Intelligence Lead. Disorder can be anticipated using appropriate, timely intelligence. "Appropriate" intelligence concerns patterns of social activity and disorder in general, rather than crime in particular. Such general intelligence is dubbed Operational Intelligence, as opposed to criminal intelligence - indeed, much Operational Intelligence may have little or nothing to do directly with crime. To be effective in anticipating disorder and crime, Operational Intelligence is concerned with awareness of activities, their changing patterns, vulnerabilities, associations, together with local environments and their changing patterns
- Anticipation. Using Operational Intelligence, it is possible to anticipate some forms of disorder and to neutralize them as, or even before, they arise - provided officers are "in the field" to take the necessary steps. The development and use of Operational Intelligence leads to a reduction in demand by anticipating problems which would otherwise require manpower to resolve, i.e. by "nipping problems in the bud"
- Appropriate Action. Policing, no matter how benign, is a form of social engineering. While officers may not like to think of themselves as social workers, they are nonetheless social engineers. They must be constantly aware of the likely social consequences of their actions, seeking always to minimize their use of force and aggression to that which is necessary to contain particular situations. Similarly, sympathy, support and concern for a victim of crime and disorder is not inappropriate to sound Blue Knight policing.
- Quality of Life. Fear, although sometimes irrational and unrealistic, renders people vulnerable and severely impairs their quality of life. Combating fear, especially among the old, the young and the vulnerable is important and legitimate Blue Knight police business
- Patrol Officer Primacy. Police action is taken, usually, by the patrol officer in area, at the scene, on a beat, etc. He or she has the best, first-hand knowledge of the situation, and is therefore best suited to command events. In principle, therefore, it is the patrol officer who is in control, who decides on action, who informs others and who calls up any resources deemed necessary. This is as opposed to an information centre being in control; a centre's role is to receive, store, recall and transfer information, and to co-ordinate any activities requiring several officers at once. In addition to this an information centre must has the capacity and ability to analyse and be proactive in seeking information to the benefit of the patrol officer.
- Accredited Primacy. Where a patrol officer is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the area, the same rule applies, but he or she may need rather more support than a more experienced officer. There exists therefore a philosophy of individual "accreditation" of patrol officers, who become qualified to take full control once they have gained the necessary experience and exhibited the expected capability
- Accessibility. A lone patrol officer is more approachable and less intimidating than two or more officers together. With a careful eye to officer safety, officers should patrol on their own where they, and their supervisor, deem it safe and appropriate, to interact more effectively with members of the public
Tools and Facilities for Blue Knight
Blue Knights require technological support for: -
- Operational Intelligence
- Resource allocation
- Effectiveness management
- Problem solving
Operational Intelligence Facility
The following figure shows a typical Operational Intelligence display of the kind a Guardian Angel would use.
In this example, the Blue Knights are operating at local level. The map, which represents an area to the south of Glasgow in Scotland, has been chosen for illustrative purposes only. (I lived in Clarkston as a boy.) The various keys and map overlays are drawn from the Operational Database.
The four sides of the console represent, respectively: -
Under People, are "knowns", i.e. people with a track record of some kind, officials, leaders, etc. Under Places, in addition to permanent features and landmarks, the system stores locales with a history of focusing activities: it is noticeable that certain places lend themselves to congregations (and to swift escapes.) Under Events are the many categories of disorder and anti-social behaviour. Patterns of events may be displayed over the map and interrogated, as shown.
Environment at the bottom concerns itself environmental disorder and with its clearup, in the upper and lower registers respectively. A major indicator of a robust society is the rate at which disorder, decay, graffitto, etc., are cleared up. Measuring such indicators provides Blue Knights with a measure of progress in Peacebuilding
At bottom right, marked VCR mode, is a control which allows the Guardian Angel to present categories of information at high speed, like operating fast-forward on a video player. This presents "time-lapse" view of the data on the map, and highlights changes in patterns over time, hot-spots, migrations, etc., which may not be apparent in day-to-day operatons.
Finally at bottom left is a button marked Predict... which allows the operator to predict and display a pattern of possible future events and situations, based on the historic information stored in the database. This prediction will be based on evidential fractal statistics as shown at the start of this page, and each time the button is pressed, it will present a different prediction, statistically valid, drawn from the same fractal.
Information Data Bases
Following are two figures illustrating a notional Blue Knight Operational Intelligence Database Schema. The two pages may be joined end to end to produce a double page layout. This particular schema relates to a UK-type environment. For less-ordered, more turbulent societies and communities, a different schema might be appropriate, but it would operate along similar lines: -
Levels 1, 2 and 3 in the figures correspond to Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding respectively
Resource Allocation and Effectiveness Management
The diagram is taken from a simulation of Blue Knight, created to explore the many options for allocating officers in various proportions to Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding. The simulation starting conditions may be set to mirror the real world conditions in which Blue Knights are operating, perhaps as part of an indigenous police force, perhaps as a team imported by invitation into a disturbed society or nation. The purpose of the simulation is to explore different options for restoring order, maintaining it once restored, and for building on the Peace. In this example, Blue Knights are represented as police constables (PCs) and Guardian Angels are represented as India (i.e. Intelligence) Officers. "Behind" the control and indicator panel is a comprehensive model of the society, which presents disorder, crime and turbulence. Blue Knights and Guardian Angels together can explore different ways of dealing with the short-term issues, while also seeing the longer-term outcome from their actions.
Top left are controls for allocating PCs to each of the three "levels", Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding, . As shown, 40% are allocated to Peacemaking, none to the other two levels. Centre left are the establisments. Using the pop-up, this table will also show the actuals, and may be used to simulate shipping in reinforcements, for instance, or reducing numbers. Top centre are counters showing numbers actually on the ground at the present time. Switches to the right are set to indicate their basic operational mode. For Blue Knights, the mode would be PCs on Foot, but then not all PCs are Blue Knights. Two switches below that determine whether the India Officer/Guardian Angel is available full time or half time. Dials show the reported crime rate, the percentage of those crimes being detected and the state of stability - a measure of the degree of disorder in the society. The rotating knobs are used to tune the simulation to local conditions.
Using the simulation, Blue Knights may explore a wide range of possibilities. For instance, it is possible to superimpose an unexpected outburst of disorder into the simulation and to see how apportioning officers in different ways between the three levels, or calling in reinforcements, enables control of the situation.
Many of the problems facing Blue Knights will be complex and intractable. Gathering good intelligence is only one step towards a solution. Formal problem-solving methods may also be helpful. Typical of these might be Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), used in such a way that all, or most, of the parties to some issue take part. Similarly, Hierarchical Issue Method (HIM), which is designed and intended for group use, and is fully tool supported, can be used to address more complex and diverse problems.
Finally, it may be very helpful, particularly in complex areas with high risk of conflict and with ethnic/religious overtones, to invoke synthetic environments - these would be created and operated by Guardain angels as part of their intelligence function. A typical synthetic environment would be of the immersion variety, with representation of the environment, terrain, threats, etc., and with the various protagonists, preferably represented by the appropriate real people but, failing that by role playing experts.
Using the synthetic environment as an experimental social laboratory, it is possible for Blue Knights to practice different negotiation tactics, for instance, to observe the reactions and to develop appropriate strategies without the risks inherent in trying them out for the first time in the real world.
Blue Knight Accoutrements
The role envisaged for Blue Knights as individual champions, yet dispersed members of a team, necessitates special personal equipment and facilities. Many suitable facilities are emerging into the market as a result of the US Individual Warrior program. These include: -
- Sophisticated personal communications
- Helmet-mounted displays able to show maps, photographs of places and people, text, fax, etc.
- Miniature cameras able to take stills and video and to transmit live video/audio to a remote receiver/display for surveillance, investigation, intelligence and in the interests of Blue Knight safety and integrity
- Large plastic displays, capable of being wrapped and worn, which can be unrolled and laid out to receive/display/brief information to interested parties, protagonists, negotiators, etc.
- Non-lethal weapons, able to immobilize and/or incapacitate an indivdual, or even a small group of individuals, instantly and without harm
- Vehicle and weapon inhibitors. Such devices work via a variety of methods, including EMP