Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Social disorganization and police arrest trajectories

    Prior police decision-making research is limited by (1) its emphasis on individual and organizational predictors and (2) cross-sectional designs, which fail to account for the time-varying aspects of police activities and the factors explaining them. Using group-based trajectory modeling, this study tested the ability of social disorganization theory to explain arrest activity at the Census block group level in Dallas, Texas. Social disorganization variables helped predict certain arrest trajectories, but not all of them. Specifically, socio-economic status was significant in low and medium arrest trajectory groups. An interaction between racial heterogeneity and family disruption was also significant in the medium arrest trajectory group. Theoretical implications are discussed.

  • Protecting others, compassion, and sacrifice: The toll of disaster policing on law enforcement officers in the United States

    This study used a qualitative grounded theory approach to explore disaster experiences of law enforcement officers (LEO)s (n = 56), in two high disaster areas of the United States. Respondents indicated that disasters cause increased stress on LEOs from fatigue, extended shifts, changing duties, increased workload, work–family role conflict, and new operational expectations and challenges within the agency during disasters. Family safety was also identified as a critical stressor and pre-occupation for LEOs during disaster policing, as well as an enhanced reliance on critical thinking as an adaptive response to untrained for challenges that are unique to disasters.

  • Organisational and individual perspectives of police wellbeing in England and Wales

    Individual and organisational factors have been identified as influencing personal wellbeing, with an emphasis placed on the organisation and management to support their staff. Whilst various policies, interventions and campaigns are in place at national and local level, it is unclear how well individual and organisational perspectives of wellbeing are aligned. This study seeks to address this through the analysis of secondary data provided by Oscar Kilo in 2018: Blue Light Wellbeing Frameworks (organisational perspective) and Human Resources policy review survey data (individual perspective). Whilst findings indicate positive steps to enhancing police wellbeing, a disconnect between the organisation and employees was apparent.

  • The recruitment of women and visible minorities into Canadian police forces: Should we expect further progress?

    The recruitment of women and minority group members was intended to move Canadian police forces towards societal representation and to enhance services provided to, and improve relations with, women and racially marginalized groups. This review contemplates progress towards these goals at a time of extraordinary public dissatisfaction with Western policing. A rationale is offered for reconsidering the 50% representation target for women and it is emphasized just how little we yet know about racial bias in policing. The review ends with a call for rigorous, apolitical, research to untangle the complex interactions underscoring the considered questions within.

  • Lost in transition: The effects of transitioning between firearms and electronic control devices (ECDs) on perception-response times (PRTs)
  • ‘It’s on my head’: Risk and accountability in public order policing

    Heavy policing remains ‘a chronic feature of public order operations’ (Waddington PAJ (1994) Liberty and Order: Public Order Policing in a Capital City. London: UCL Press), both in the form of officer numbers and in the proportionality of tactics employed. This paper argues that at the heart of this lies the assessment of threat and risk and how police commanders perceive, predict and manage the potential for disorder. It reports on the findings of a mixed-methods study, combining data from observations of three separate public order events, with in-depth interviews of seven high-level, police public order commanders from five different UK police forces. Analysis suggests that commanders construe ‘risk’ in very broad terms, seeking to mitigate not only physical harm but also abstract consequences such as reputational damage and loss of public confidence. Structured models central to the task of threat and risk assessment give the appearance of a quantitative and objective process. However, the actual appraisal of threat and risk, both before and during public order operations, is almost entirely heuristic. Furthermore, the analysis suggests commanders’ decision-making is acutely affected by the pressure of accountability. It is argued that at a tacit level, their threat and risk assessments reflect this and a direct consequence is the deployment of additional police resources. At a time when the police service is under intense pressure to do more with less, this paper discusses how refining the assessment of threat and risk may prove to be a critical factor in the delivery of cost effective and proportionate public order policing.

  • Impacts of organisational role and environmental factors on moral injury and trauma amongst police investigators in Internet Child Abuse Teams

    Little is known about how the effects of moral injury and trauma manifest amongst police Internet Child Abuse Teams. This article reports on the impacts of organisational role and environmental factors on moral injury and trauma amongst this population. Six participants were recruited from two police constabularies in the United Kingdom. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings indicated that the participants’ moral injury and trauma were predominantly attributable to excessive workloads and stigma in relation to mental health within policing. Generic psychological interventions were insufficiently responsive to the complex needs of the police investigators.

  • Further evidence on the extent and time course of repeat missing incidents involving children: A research note

    This study examines the extent and time course of repeat missing incidents involving children. Using data from one UK police force (n = 2,251), we find (1) that the majority (65%) of missing incidents are repeats, (2) that a small group of repeatedly missing children (n = 43; 6%) account for a sizable proportion of all missing incidents (n=739, 33%) and (3) that the likelihood of a child going missing repeatedly is elevated in the weeks immediately following a previous missing incident. The implications of our findings for future research and for the prevention of missing incidents are discussed.

  • Have you considered the opposite? A debiasing strategy for judgment in criminal investigation

    Fundamental challenges in human decision-making pose a serious threat to fair evidence evaluation, verdicts in court proceedings, and the administration of justice. Drawing on cognitive psychology, we examined whether a consider-the-opposite approach can assist police officers with positive guidance on how to implement crucial legal thresholds such as the presumption of innocence. In an experiment with sworn police officers (N = 100), we compared a consider-the-opposite condition and a control condition (with no further instructions) and measured the formulated alternative hypotheses. The results show a promising debiasing effect of the consider-the-opposite approach which may strengthen fundamental principles of criminal law.

  • Book review: Behavioural Skills For Effective Policing

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