International Journal of Police Science and Management

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Policing and collective efficacy: A rapid evidence assessment

    Collective efficacy is a neighbourhood social process that has important benefits for crime prevention. Policing is thought to be one antecedent to collective efficacy, but the mechanisms by which police activity and officer behaviour are thought to foster collective efficacy are not well understood. This article presents findings from a rapid evidence assessment conducted to take stock of the empirical research on policing and collective efficacy. Thirty-nine studies were identified and examined. Overall, trust in police was the aspect of policing most consistently associated with collective efficacy. There was also some evidence that community policing activities, such as visibility and community engagement, predicted collective efficacy. Police legitimacy, on the other hand, was relatively unrelated to collective efficacy: a finding which suggests perceptions of police linked to the ‘action’ of individual officers may be more enabling of collective efficacy than perceptions of the policing institution as a whole. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

  • Profiling persons reported missing from hospitals versus mental health facilities

    Missing person reports from hospitals and mental health facilities are a significant issue impacting patients, communities, and health and police sectors. Research on missing persons seldom considers the type of location from where people go missing, which can be troublesome due to the increased chances for experiencing harm during an episode from hospitals and mental health facilities. When location type is studied, these often remarkably different places are frequently blended together in analyses and discussions. This conflation has implications for research and the development of effective police preventive responses. To begin to address this gap, this study uses descriptive analysis and logistic regression to examine the descriptive and predictive profiles of those reported missing from hospitals versus those reported missing from mental health units. For this, data are taken from a sample of 916 closed missing person cases reported to a Canadian municipal police service over five years. Results suggest there are significant differences in both the descriptive and predictive profiles of individuals reported missing from these two location types, such as individuals with varying mental health and cognitive issues going missing from each place, respectively. Given the findings, the implications for research, policing, and risk management are discussed.

  • Exploring recruits’ motivations to enter policing in Small Island Developing States: The case of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service

    Internationally, there is a substantial amount of research on motivations to enter the police profession; however, scant research attention has been paid to the motivations of individuals in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Trinidad and Tobago who choose policing as a career path. As a result, this research was designed to analyze motivations for entering the police profession by gathering data from recruits who had recently entered police academy training in Trinidad and Tobago. The research utilized a quantitative approach with self-administered questionnaires as the data-gathering instrument. Using data collected from 160 police recruits at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) police academy who were two months into their induction training, this study attempts to answer four questions related to their motivations for entering policing. Statistical analyses of the data included comparisons between groups in the sample (males/females) to determine the existence of competing motivations. The results indicate that job security was the main motivation for entry into the TTPS and that the motivations of male recruits were more altruistic when compared with those of female recruits, which were generally self-serving. Other results and implications for policy are discussed.

  • The theory and evidence behind law enforcement strategies that combat child sexual abuse material

    This article presents a synthesis of current and innovative law enforcement strategies to combat child sexual abuse material. Six law enforcement strategies were identified through an international literature search and verified by experts via roundtable discussion. Six strategies were identified: public intelligence gathering, polygraph, proactive investigations, risk assessment prioritization, resourced taskforces and collaborative partnerships. Strategies are reported via an adapted version of the ‘EMMIE’ framework: effects, mechanisms, moderators, and implementation considerations. Through applying the adapted framework, this article explains how and why each law enforcement strategy may work, and identifies the factors that may impact each strategy’s success. As a result, this article offers a valuable resource for practice professionals across the globe. The synthesis does not include an assessment of whether prior evidence supports the strategies discussed.

  • ‘I’m not sick!…Are you?’ Groupthink in police services as a barrier to collecting mental health data

    Despite the high prevalence of mental disorders among Canadian police officers, treatment-seeking is lower than expected. Toward understanding how mental health services can be tailored for higher utilization by police, we aim to uncover factors that contribute to stigma and barriers to use, specifically within the context of group dynamics between officers. Nine semi-structured focus groups and one interview were conducted with civilian and non-civilian police service employees in Ontario, Canada. Data were coded to allow for themes to emerge from the transcripts. Participant voices (n=33) revealed the presence of three characteristics of Janis’ groupthink: high group cohesion, conditions that create high stress and low self-esteem, and operating under directive leadership; each creating pressures that serve as barriers to treatment-seeking [Janis IL (1972) Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions And Fiascoes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin]. Groupthink offers a potential explanation about why police, despite a high prevalence of mental disorders and access to mental health services, do not seek treatment as expected. Janis’s theory of groupthink is supported by police officer dialogue in focus groups. Understanding police group interactions can better inform prevention and treatment programs, ultimately leading to better access and use of existing mental health services, a reduction in stigma associated with treatment-seeking, and a healthier police workforce.

  • The role of context in understanding the use of tactical officers: A brief research note

    A small body of research suggests that the use of police tactical officers has become normalized in that they now commonly respond to “routine” calls rather than being restricted to high-risk situations. However, this research has tended to rely on crude data (i.e., call type), which fails to account for the context of the calls (e.g., the presence of potential risk factors that might warrant tactical resources). In this brief research note, we sought to expand upon previous literature by examining the risk factors associated with tactical calls in a Canadian police service. We found that various risk factors were present in many of the calls that tactical officers responded to, some of which might be classified as “routine” (suicide threats, well-being checks, domestic disturbances, etc.). The presence of such risk factors highlights the need to consider context when attempting to understand the use (and consequences) of tactical officers. More rigorous tracking of these factors by police services will facilitate such research and inform policies around the use of tactical resources.

  • Police self-legitimacy and democratic orientations: Assessing shared values

    Using a sample of frontline police officers from several mid-sized municipal police departments in the United States, this study explores the relationships between frontline police officers’ self-legitimacy, organizational fit, moral alignment with policed communities, and attitudes toward democratic policing principles. Using partial least squares structural equation modeling, the analysis frames democratic policing using a formative latent construct to test several hypotheses. The results support a direct positive relationship between self-legitimacy and attitudes toward democratic policing, and suggest the relationship is partially mediated by officers' perceptions of moral alignment with their policed communities. The results further demonstrate that self-legitimacy is significantly related to organizational fit, but organizational fit does not appear to mediate the relationship between self-legitimacy and attitudes toward democratic policing.

  • Police attitudes toward the use of inappropriate force in China

    The purpose of this study is to explore police attitudes toward the use of inappropriate force in China. Using original data from a survey of over 900 police officers in China, this study investigated patterns of officers’ attitudes toward the use of force and correlates of officer attitudes supportive of the use of inappropriate force. This study shows that a significant number of officers hold attitudes supportive of the use of inappropriate force. Regression analysis demonstrates complex relationship between police role-orientation and officers’ attitudes toward the use of inappropriate force. This study also found that police training on the use of force was not as effective as expected in shaping officers’ attitudes toward the use of force. The implication for police training is discussed in relation to findings of this study.

  • Does motivational regulation affect physical activity patterns among Norwegian Police University College students?

    Physical readiness is important for operative police officers to cope with occupational tasks. Despite this, physical activity and physical fitness among police officers decrease throughout their occupational career. Self-determination theory (SDT) is a major theoretical approach in motivation research for sports and physical activity. SDT describes types of motivation and motivational regulation and how they are related to physical activity and physical activity adherence. This study aims to explore whether there is a relationship between motivation and the physical activity level of future police officers. The study was based on a survey design, including two questionnaires: Motives for Physical Activities Measure – Revised, measuring motivational regulation; and International Physical Activity Questionnaire – short form, measuring physical activity. Two hundred and fifty-eight students at the Norwegian Police University College (NPUC) participated in the study. Our results revealed that motivational regulation, especially intrinsic and integrated regulation, significantly predicted physical activity among NPUC students. Our findings support the basics of SDT, and how it is related to physical activity patterns and physical activity adherence. When discussing physical training and physical readiness, and to understand the reduction in physical activity and fitness among police officers, one cannot neglect the importance of exploring and understanding the motivation for physical activity among police officers. Educational institutions like the NPUC have an important role in securing minimum levels of physical fitness when graduating students, but even more importantly they can have a central part in nurturing intrinsic motivation for physical activity for the future police officers, which facilitates physical activity adherence throughout their policing career.

  • Procedural and distributive justice: Effects on attitudes toward body-worn cameras

    The purpose of this study was twofold. First, it examined how procedural and distributive justice influence college students’ perceptions of adoption of body-worn cameras by the police. Second, it explored how procedural and distributive justice influence college students’ perceptions of the ability of body-worn cameras to improve community relations, decrease citizen complaints, increase police officer respect, increase citizen respect, and improve training. Those who perceived distributive injustice were more likely to agree that the police should adopt body-worn cameras. Perceived distributive injustice was also a consistent predictor regarding the varying abilities of body-worn cameras.

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