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An Evaluation of the Effectiveness, Use and Future Police Professional Practice Publications.

Fox, John Fox. (2013) An Evaluation of the Effectiveness, Use and Future Police Professional Practice Publications. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This study examines the factors that determine the effectiveness of nationally published police professional practice documents, explores the role of professional practice publications in developing and moulding in-service training, and considers whether a drive to reduce police bureaucracy, that also reduced the flow of such documents, might have a detrimental impact on the quality of investigations. An important subsidiary aim is to explore the nature of the investigative process and to identify the ways in which the professional practice publications can best be used by the police service. Because the body of police professional practice publications was only introduced in the last 20 years, there has been little, if any academic interest in this area and the research aims to contribute to improved knowledge of it. Many police studies are concerned with classic themes such as discretion, accountability, and leadership. As well as the specific theme of this research, a contribution will also be offered to the research concerning aspects of these classic themes. The use of discretion within specific investigations will be explored and consideration given to whether the police should be able to use their own flair when carrying out investigations or whether they should be constrained by tried and tested methodologies. In respect of accountability, the thesis will offer a discussion on whether the purpose of the documents is really to influence investigative practice, or whether they were created as another way of holding police officers to account, to shield the police as an institution from reputational damage when things go wrong, or just a retrospective 'stable door closing exercise'. Police leadership is examined, particularly in connection with the selection of Chief Officers and the organisation known as the Association of Chief Police Officers, and its role in commissioning national police guidance. The thesis revisits the sociological analysis of police occupational culture and suggests aspects of the professional guidance process that may imply a need to refine and/or re-conceptualise some traits reported in the locus classicus in this area. It offers a discussion about the way in which 'workforce modernisation', or 'civilianisation', in UK policing, might require an update in the paradigm offered by some classic police research. The link between university-based research and operational policing is considered, and in particular the ways in which evidence-based research could be better used to inform police practice. This study, which incorporates a US/UK international comparison, was mainly conducted using qualitative research techniques and in particular semi-structured interviews with police officers and other significant respondents in England and the United States. The research highlights the contribution that practitioner researchers can make to improving investigative practice within the police service and increasing our knowledge about 'what works'. This thesis, and the work to which it refers, reports the results of an analysis of my own fieldwork. Any ideas, data, images or text resulting from the work of others (whether published or unpublished) are fully identified as such within the work and attributed to their originator in the text, bibliography or in footnotes. This thesis has not been submitted in whole or in part for any other academic degree or professional qualification. I agree that the University has the right to submit my work to the plagiarism detection service TurnitinUK for originality checks. Whether or not drafts have been so assessed, the University reserves the right to require an electronic version of the final document (as submitted) for assessment as above.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Fox, John Fox.
Date : 2013
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2013.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855251

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