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Can higher education reduce the negative consequences of police occupational culture amongst new recruits?

Cox, C and Kirby, S (2018) Can higher education reduce the negative consequences of police occupational culture amongst new recruits? Policing: An International Journal, 41 (5). pp. 550-562. ISSN 1363-951X

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Purpose: There is considerable evidence to illustrate police occupational culture can negatively influence service delivery and organizational reform. To counteract this, and to improve professionalism, the police services of England and Wales will become a graduate profession from 2020, although little empirical evidence exists as to what impact this will have. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of a police degree course on its students.
Design/methodology/approach: Initially, a survey was conducted with 383 university students studying for criminal justice-related undergraduate degrees in a UK university. This indicated Police Foundation degree students (n=84), identified themselves as being different, and behaving differently, to other university students. To explore the reasons for this, four focus groups were conducted with this cohort, during their two-year degree programme.
Findings: The study found that the Police Foundation degree students quickly assimilated a police identity, which affected their attitudes and behavior. The process led to a strengthening of ties within their own student group, at the expense of wider student socialization.
Originality/value: The study provides new findings in relation to undergraduate students who undertake a university-based degree programme, tailored to a future police career. The results have implications for both police policy makers and those in higher education as it highlights the strength of police occupational culture and the implications for the design of future police-related degree programmes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology; Criminology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7231 Criminal Justice Administrations > HV7551 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: Justice Studies (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2023 12:12
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2023 12:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1108/pijpsm-10-2016-0154
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18761

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