European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue 2, 2023 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Educating Police Officers in Sweden – All about Making Meaning

Keywords meaning-making, police education, police educators, professional development, reflexivity
Authors Bengt Bergman, Staffan Karp and Ulrika Widding
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the rarely investigated learning processes of Swedish intra-professional police educators: police teachers, police supervisors and police field training officers. Through the interpretation of three interview studies conducted from a theoretical perspective of experiential learning, reflection and meaning-making, a new understanding of professional development as viewed through the eyes of an educator emerges. The findings exemplify how the empowerment of positive, reflexive and creative intentions amongst intra-professional police educators can be seen as an important component of preparing new police officers as well as developing the Swedish police force. Moreover, it will be implied that this particular process is driven by both intrinsic (the internal drive of the educators) and extrinsic (the educational context of the Swedish police) forces.

Bengt Bergman
Bengt Bergman, PhD, has completed a thesis which concludes three studies concerning the police education in Sweden: police teachers (Bergman, 2009), police supervisors (Bergman, 2016) and police field training officers – FTOs (Bergman, 2017). At the moment, he is head of the Police Supervisor Course at The Swedish Police Authority (Corresponding author: torpasen2011@gmail.com).

Staffan Karp
Staffan Karp, PhD and Associated Professor at the Department of Education, Umeå University. He has conducted several studies on police education and police work: (Karp & Stenmark, 2011), (Lauritz & Karp, 2013), (Rantatalo & Karp, 2016), (Kohlström, Rantatalo, Karp, Padyab, 2017) among other publications. He is also chair of the board of Police Education at Umeå University, Sweden.

Ulrika Widding
Ulrika Widding, PhD and Associated Professor at the Department of Education, Umeå University. She has done studies on the making of an identity as a student (Widding, 2005), parental education: (Widding, 2011A, 2011B), parental support: (Widding & Olsson, 2013), the Convention on the Rights of the Child: (Olsson & Widding, 2010, Widding & Olsson, 2014), among other publications.

Access_open Good and Bad Cops – How Do American and Swedish Police Officers Perceive Policing?

Keywords police legitimacy, police conduct, American police, Swedish police, perceptions
Authors Michelle N. Eliasson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Police officers in various countries utilize a wide range of policing strategies, for example, some countries practice de-escalation strategies when encountering conflicts, while others use militarized approaches. This article aims to understand how police officers describe good and bad policing and how these descriptions can be linked to policing approaches and strategies. The data consists of 52 qualitative interviews with American and Swedish police officers. Findings indicate that officers describe good and bad policing in relation to the following three aspects of their occupation: how they manage their first encounter with civilians, how well they manage their and others’ emotions, and their professionalism. Overall, American and Swedish officers describe similar characteristics of good and bad policing, both reflecting attributes which can be associated with de-escalating strategies.

Michelle N. Eliasson
Michelle N. Eliasson is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida, and her research interests are victimology, policing, criminal justice professionals, qualitative methodology and restorative justice. Her current research focuses on examining police officers’ perceptions of victims.

Access_open The Significance of Embodied Learning in Police Education

Keywords field training officers, police in-field training, police student, embodiment, supervision
Authors Linda Antoniett Hoel
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the role of the Norwegian field training officers (FTOs) as they see it and what they regard as important to teach police students attending in-field training. In Norway, FTOs are lower rank police officers, many of whom have newly graduated from the Norwegian Police University College (NPUC). The FTOs interviewed in this study described police work as a bodily practice and the subsequent teaching and learning as body oriented. The analysis shows that reflection on policing in-field is “inward looking”. The article situates this focus as an example of the FTOs’ “identity work” as resistance to the institutional requirements related to higher education. The article discusses how the purpose of in-field training and the purpose of higher police education entail an “identity tension” that may result in a salient problem regarding a common and holistic understanding of the purpose of police (higher) education.

Linda Antoniett Hoel
Linda Antoniett Hoel is associate professor at The Norwegian Police University College.

Access_open A Trauma-Informed Approach to Arresting Migrant Families for Deportation

New Policing Practice

Keywords traumatic stress, reflective practice, police work, institutionalizing, deportation of children
Authors Line Lundvoll Warth, Åse Langballe and Jon-Håkon Schultz
AbstractAuthor's information

    An arrest can be a potentially traumatic event for parents and children. In Norway, the National Police Immigration Service (NPIS) has introduced four child-specific principles – safety, understanding, predictability and involvement – to guide a new practice to prevent traumatic stress. We explored how the police understand and practise the new approach when arresting families to be deported. We conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with police officers who arrest migrant families. We analysed the levels of understanding, from descriptive to practical and reflective understanding. Analysing the levels of understanding makes it possible to decide where and how to improve the practice and the delivery of instruction. We found that police officers who demonstrate a reflective understanding are capable of reflecting on their own actions and use the principles to reduce stress, thereby operationalizing their “know-how” in practice. We suggest creating institutional activities that promote reflection-on-action to develop the collective institutionalization of the new practice, meeting the pressing challenges of contemporary policing.

Line Lundvoll Warth
Line Lundvoll Warth is a professor in education at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, and professor II at Norwegian Centre for e-health Research, UNN. Her interests lie in the social and organizational aspects of the introduction and use of tools for professionals.

Åse Langballe
Åse Langballe is an associate professor at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. She has worked extensively on the development of methodology for the investigative interview of young victims: Dialogical Communication Method (DCM).

Jon-Håkon Schultz
Jon-Håkon Schultz is a professor in educational psychology at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. His line of research is how to build trauma-informed systems and the provision of care for trauma-exposed children.

Cydney Sheridan
Cydney Sheridan, BCL, MA Student, Maynooth University.
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