European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue Online First, 2022 Expand all abstracts

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 Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Organizational Legitimacy and Conditionality

Keywords police, oversight, legitimacy, Northern Ireland
Authors Gavin Boyd and Gordon Marnoch
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article addresses organizational legitimacy in the public services, conducting an analysis of the records of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (OPONI) 2000-2018. A framework of organizational legitimacy provides a basis for examining OPONI’s record with respect to fulfilment of purpose, administrative efficiency and outcomes. Results suggest that OPONI needs to adjust to changing societal circumstances in Northern Ireland to sustain its role in persuading the people that policing is both fair and appropriate. A strategic reset is required given the diminished number of complaints cases linked to political conflict in order to avoid inadvertently destabilizing the post-conflict governance of policing.

Gavin Boyd
Gavin Boyd served 30 years in the RUC GC/PSNI before working as Policing Consultant in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is currently an Associate at Liverpool Centre for Advance Policing at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, and the UK College of Policing. His research focuses on policing intelligence and terrorism, police accountability and criminal justice.

Gordon Marnoch
Gordon Marnoch’s research examines issues in public services, particularly policing and health care. He has written two books and published in numerous journals, including Public Administration, Public Performance Management Review, Policing, Policing & Society and the European Journal of Policing Studies. He has advised several public organizations and a parliamentary committee inquiry. Corresponding author: Gordon Marnoch, gj.marnoch@ulster.ac.uk.

Access_open Experiencing Police Stops in France

Low-Level Tensions, Trust and Citizenship

Keywords ethnic minorities, police stops, procedural justice, France, Citizenship
Authors Jacques de Maillard
AbstractAuthor's information

    Police stops are teachable moments, as they generate information concerning the status of the parties involved and the relationship between them. In France, research has highlighted the concentration of identity checks on young males from ethnic minorities living in urban areas. However, the contents of the interactions during police stops and the consequences of these stops have seldom been explored. On the basis of two research projects (a survey from the French Defender of Rights, and some direct observations of police-public interactions), we analyze here experiences of police stops. Although the behaviour of the police officers is mostly said to be polite, the relaxation of professional standards is, nevertheless, significant, and more accentuated for the young, male and minority populations. We find the roots of a vicious relational circle. The risk of a ‘police stops trap’ is obvious, as reciprocal hostile attitudes feed one another. We argue that targeted police practices undermine trust in the police and feed a more critical conception of citizenship.

Jacques de Maillard
Jacques de Maillard is Professor of political science at University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin (University Paris-Saclay) and director of the Cesdip (Centre for sociological research on law and criminal institutions).

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 Governing Police Discretion Through a Craft Learning Model

Promises and Pitfalls

Keywords body-worn cameras, police discretion, craft, bureaucracy, police reform
Authors James J. Willis, Marthinus C. Koen and Heather Toronjo
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, we build on some of our previous empirical research to develop the value, logic and nature of the craft learning model, as an alternative to the dominant, administrative rulemaking paradigm for governing patrol officer discretion. We do this by conceptualizing the craft model in relation to Egon Bittner’s observations on two distinct mechanisms of police organization and control: legality and workmanship. Second, we illustrate the largely overlooked potential of body-worn cameras for learning about and advancing craft knowledge and skills. And third, we address three challenges to what we propose and consider how these might be mitigated or overcome: (1) resistance from the police culture; (2) the limited role of first-line supervisors; and (3) the current lack of community participation in guiding street-level decision-making. Our overarching purpose is to encourage advocates of police reform to explore new models that account for the complex technical and normative dimensions of everyday policing and facilitate more reasoned, transparent and principled decision-making on the front lines.

James J. Willis
James J. Willis is Professor at the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University in Fairfax, USA.

Marthinus C. Koen
Marthinus C. Koen is Assistant Professor at the Criminal Justice Department of the State University of New York-Oswego, USA.

Heather Toronjo
Heather Toronjo is Research Associate at the Schar School of Policy and Government of the George Mason University in Fairfax, USA.

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.

Rural Policing: Change and Continuity

An Oral History

Keywords police, rural, oral history, social change, police culture
Authors Jan Terpstra, Tetty Havinga and Renze Salet
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper changes in rural policing in the Netherlands over the past few decades are investigated. This study is an example of oral history, using interviews with rural police officers. The main changes in rural policing are related to different issues: organization of rural policing, views about police work, local knowledge and commitment, relations with local communities, and style of policing. This study shows that since the 1980s the Dutch police have gradually withdrawn from the countryside. Not much is left of the strong traditional position of the police in rural communities. Notwithstanding these developments, the rural police has partially kept is distinctive characteristic in policing style, which makes it different from the police that is often found in urban areas. Larger social density, less anonymity, stronger sense of community, and more social control are among the factors that have contributed to the continuity in the styles of rural policing. Still it looks as if a shift is being made to a different kind of policing in rural regions: less socially embedded, mainly operating from the outside, not as an integral elements of the local community, and generally operating reactively, only after an incident happened.

Jan Terpstra
Jan Terpstra is emeritus professor criminology at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and fellow at the Free University of Brussels and the University of Leyden (the Hague).

Tetty Havinga
Tetty Havinga is fellow professor sociology of law, Faculty of Law, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Renze Salet
Renze Salet is assistant professor criminology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.