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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2017

Irene Afful

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine whether the individual values and bias of police officers could be frustrating attempts to achieve black and ethnic minority…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine whether the individual values and bias of police officers could be frustrating attempts to achieve black and ethnic minority (BME) representation within the police service, especially at senior levels. It focusses on the micro-individual level, examining perceptions, values and attitudes towards equality and diversity, unconscious bias and the impact of leadership in addressing these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature on values, police culture and leadership. It draws upon data produced from a very small study undertaken within a local police service specialist unit where the author was employed, by means of semi-structured interviews with a selection of staff and senior officers, and values and attitudes surveys. Data were examined from a national survey of BME officers and Human Resources Leads, conducted by the College of Policing’s BME Progression 2018 Programme. Finally, unconscious bias test data of samples of police officers, including senior leaders and HR professionals were examined.

Findings

The interview data show that equality and diversity are perceived to be largely embedded by organisational members. This is contradicted by the data from the values and attitudes survey which show that equality is not fully embedded in the culture, and the data from BME officers survey supports this. Leader role models and behaviours were found to play a crucial role in embedding these values, along with training. The findings also demonstrated a higher level of unconscious bias among senior officers and HR professionals, responsible for recruitment and selection, than police employees in general.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory research is concerned with policing in England and Wales. The very small sample limits inferences possible in the findings but is highly relevant to current and future policing.

Practical implications

The paper highlights some potential barriers to achieving a representative police service at an individual rather than organisational level and makes a number of recommendations on the role of leaders now, and crucially in the future, to fully embed equality and diversity into police culture to address under-representation, a phenomenon which has plagued the police service throughout its entire history.

Originality/value

There appears to be a dearth of studies examining the issue of under-representation at the micro-individual level within British police organisations. The current, exploratory research study seeks to contribute to closing this gap.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Irene Afful and Alexander Williams

– The purpose of this paper is to explore crisis management in terms of the spiritual aspects of victim recovery. The paper focuses, in particular, on victims of serious crime.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore crisis management in terms of the spiritual aspects of victim recovery. The paper focuses, in particular, on victims of serious crime.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the available literature on crisis management, serious crime, spirituality and pastoral support to determine their impact on trauma recovery. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a number of police chaplains and a hospital chaplain, in addition to police family liaison officers and witness care officers, who have in-depth involvement with victims of serious crime, to explore the support available and identify gaps against existing theory.

Findings

Spiritual/pastoral support is available to police officers in the form of police chaplains. Their support is reported to be valuable in the crisis recovery process. Hospital patients report such support as integral to mental and emotional well-being and recovery. Victims of serious crime are not offered such pastoral services through the criminal justice system, though other more practical needs are provided for. This gap could have implications for the effectiveness of the criminal justice process.

Research limitations/implications

The research is an exploratory study and seeks to open up debate in this arena. The research is localised to a specific region and may not generalise nationally/internationally.

Practical implications

The paper evaluates the role and import of spiritual support in trauma recovery, makes a number of recommendations to plug the gap in current provision to victims of serious crime and suggests directions for further research in this area.

Social implications

There are limited social implications.

Originality/value

There has been very limited research conducted in this specific area and this paper seeks to redress this gap and suggests opportunities for further research to enhance victim crisis recovery and participation in the criminal justice process.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 March 2018

Paresh Wankhade and DeMond S. Miller

261

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Paresh Wankhade and Shankar Sankaran

260

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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