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Understanding occupational (sub) culture – a precursor for reform: The case of the police service in England and Wales

Harry Barton (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 September 2003

Abstract

Over the past two decades successive British governments, both Conservative and Labour, have attempted to implement reforms within the English and Welsh police service. The latest Labour government proposals have resulted in new legislation which paves the way for wide‐scale reforms of how the police are managed, financed and judged against specific performance targets. Further, the introduction of the UKs first “national policing plan” has led to the belief that this is a sign of the British government's intention to reduce/remove the historical, political neutrality identified through “constabulary independence”. Past experiences suggest that greater “nationalisation” of policing in the UK is unlikely to meet government expectations owing to the strength of police (sub) culture to adopt and yet resist reform and that the governments failure to pay attention to this may result in the failure of reform.

Keywords

Citation

Barton, H. (2003), "Understanding occupational (sub) culture – a precursor for reform: The case of the police service in England and Wales", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 346-358. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550310489296

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited