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Policing the COVID-19 pandemic: police officer well-being and commitment to democratic modes of policing

Kyprianides, A; Bradford, B; Stott, C; Saviger-Shaw, L; Radburn, M; Beale, M; (2021) Policing the COVID-19 pandemic: police officer well-being and commitment to democratic modes of policing. Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy 10.1080/10439463.2021.1916492. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Police organisations have a wealth of experience in responding to emergencies, but COVID-19 is unprecedented in terms of the speed, scale and complexity of developing doctrine and its implementation by officers. The crisis also threw into sharp relief the fact that police policy and, crucially, practice are always implemented within wider social, political and economic contexts. Using online survey data collected from 325 police officers based at forces operating across different UK contexts (cities, conurbations, towns and rural areas), we seek to understand officer experiences and perceptions of policing COVID-19. In particular, we examine whether (internally) organisational climate and (externally) the UK government’s response to COVID-19 were important to (a) officers’ support for police use of force at times of emergency, (b) officer’s support for procedurally just policing at times of emergency, and (c) their health and well-being; and whether identification and perceptions of self-legitimacy mediate the associations between these variables. We show that a positive organisational climate was associated with less support for police use of force, more support for procedurally just policing and increased police officer health and well-being. Our results, however, suggest potential negative correlates of police officer self-legitimacy: higher levels of self-legitimacy were associated with poorer police officer health and well-being and increased support for police use of force. These results have important implications for our understanding of police officer well-being and police officers’ commitment to democratic modes of policing when faced with policing a pandemic.

Type: Article
Title: Policing the COVID-19 pandemic: police officer well-being and commitment to democratic modes of policing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2021.1916492
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2021.1916492
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: COVID19; police officer wellbeing; democratic modes of policing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125735
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