European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue 2, 2014 Expand all abstracts


Authors Antoinette Verhage, Lieselot Bisschop and Wim Hardyns

Antoinette Verhage

Lieselot Bisschop

Wim Hardyns

Investigating decision-making mechanisms and biases in Dutch criminal investigation teams by using a serious game

Keywords Criminal investigation teams, decision-making, tunnel vision, naturalistic decision making
Authors Jelle Groenendaal and Ira Helsloot
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article we examine by means of a serious game how ten teams of police leaders from major criminal investigation teams from five regional forces in the Netherlands, during criminal investigation, deal with tunnel vision and other potential causes of flawed decision-making, described according to Naturalistic Decision-Making models. Findings show that in the serious game, the danger of tunnel vision was widely acknowledged and that a great deal of energy was wasted as a result. In addition, the teams proved susceptible to other types of decision-making pitfalls. For example, the teams searched predominantly for confirmatory evidence, unconsciously used ingrained process-related rules of thumb, and there was evidence of a form of ‘information impulsion fallacy’. The present research is an elaboration on existing literature in that it attempts to shed light on decision-making practices during criminal investigations. The study shows that a serious game can be a useful tool to uncover decision-making behaviour.

Jelle Groenendaal
Jelle Groenendaal is senior researcher at Crisislab and Ph.D candidate at the Radboud University Nijmegen. His research interests are crisis decision-making and control of front line responders (corresp: j.groenendaal@crisislab.nl).

Ira Helsloot
Ira Helsloot is professor of the governance of safety at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He is editor of the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management and chair of research foundation Crisislab.

Women as leaders in policing

A path forward

Keywords Policing, leadership, gender
Authors Maria D.H Koeppel
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a result of changing gender dynamics in leadership, a substantial body of literature has been dedicated to understanding differences between leadership styles and effectiveness for men and women, often finding differences between the two groups. Despite this growing body of research, there is still a substantial gap in the leadership and policing literature, specifically regarding women as leaders in policing. This paper provides an overview of the gender leadership literature both in and out of policing, as well as a succinct review of research pertaining to women as leaders in policing. Recommendations for future research are drawn from existing literature in a call for a greater understanding of the role of gender in leadership in policing.

Maria D.H Koeppel
Maria Koeppel received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. Her research interests include victimology, gender, and sexual identity. Currently she is working as a research analyst for the Kansas Department of Corrections (corresp: koeppel.maria@gmail.com).

Guardian of Democracy?

Theoretical aspects of police roles and functions in democracy

Keywords democracy, police, security, use of force, authority
Authors Samuel Salzborn
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the research on democracy and democratization, there is a lack of systematic thought on the relationship between police and democracy. In this paper I argue that it is possible to go beyond empirical and historical research into police roles and functions in real-life political systems, in order to formulate a theoretical framework that outlines the specific relationships between police and democracy. Because the functions of police in democracies are clearly different from those existing under authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, it makes sense to examine these interrelationships more closely. Although the police is sociologically speaking a nonaligned institution, since it can serve any regime and is therefore neither intrinsically democratic nor intrinsically authoritarian or totalitarian, there nonetheless exists a conceptual, historical and systematic connection between police and democracy

Samuel Salzborn
Prof. dr. Samuel Salzborn is Professor of Fundamentals of the Social Sciences at the Department of Political Science at the Georg-August-University Göttingen (Germany). Samuel Salzborn received his doctorate in 2004 at the University of Colonia, in 2009 he habilitated at the University of Giessen. Among other things he acted as a Research Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Economics, Prague, and as a Visiting Professor at University Marburg (corresp: samuel.salzborn@sowi.uni-goettingen.de).

Labor productivity and productivity pressure in the Finnish police force

Keywords labor productivity, Baumol’s cost disease, perceived time pressure, burnout, police
Authors Matti Vuorensyrjä
AbstractAuthor's information

    In times of cost cuts, improvements in productivity are critically important for sustainable public spending. However, in labor-intensive organizations such as law enforcement, persistent attempts at productivity improvements tend to put pressure on the human resource base of the organization. This study tracks two changes using data from 2000–2012. What has happened to labor productivity in the Finnish police force? What has happened to productivity pressure as experienced by the personnel of the police force? We find that, in recent years, labor productivity has been increasing in the Finnish police force. We also find that perceived time pressure has been on the rise and that there is a rather close connection between objectively measured labor productivity and subjective time-pressure experience. The paper further demonstrates that increasing perceived time pressure is associated with a growth in the rates of self-reported sick leave and burnout scores. We conclude that it is important to be able to determine the hazard level of time-pressure experience and to use this information in everyday human resource management practices.

Matti Vuorensyrjä
Matti Vuorensyrjä is Senior Planning Officer at the Police College of Finland, Licentiate in Social Sciences (1998), MA (political science 1994) and MA (history 1995). Vuorensyrjä has 17 years of professional research experience and has published peer reviewed books, book chapters and articles on e.g. performance management, team and organizational climate, tacit human capital and police stressors. (Corresp.: Matti Vuorensyrjä, Poliisiammattikorkeakoulu | Police University College, PL 123 (Vaajakatu 2), FI-33721 Tampere, Finland)

Mariëlle den Hengst-Bruggeling
Delft University of Technology & Police Academy, the Netherlands (corresp: Marielle.den.hengst@ politieacademie.nl).

Country Updates


Authors Thomas Feltes
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Thomas Feltes
Professor at the Faculty of Law, Ruhr-Universität Bochum Regional editor for Germany.

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Authors Tore Bjørgo
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Tore Bjørgo
Professor of Police Science Norwegian Police University College Regional editor for Norway.

General Open Call

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Open Call
European Journal of Policing Studies Special Issue on Plural Policing in Cyberspace: Entering the Grey Zone

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