Bullying and Harassment of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women within the Police Services in England: Race, Gender and Police Culture

Hasan, Marina (2019) Bullying and Harassment of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women within the Police Services in England: Race, Gender and Police Culture. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the ‘hidden’ and under-researched area of bullying and harassment of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in Police Services in England. In so doing the thesis explores the intersectionality between race and gender within the context of police culture. The thesis explores the development of the legislative and policy framework of bullying harassment within the context of English Policing. In doing so, it adopts a chronological approach, which facilitates an understanding, whilst identifying main influences and events, which have shaped English Policing bullying and harassment policy since the Macpherson Inquiry (1999).

The research argues that the failure of successive governments to develop a robust legislative framework on bullying – on the grounds that it would create an unnecessary regulatory burden to industry (Adams, 1994) – has had a massive impact on workplace bullying and harassment issues. This has led to the default position of the development of the creation of ‘dignity at work’ policies through which cases of bullying are channeled. The thesis argues that this policy framework when implemented within a command and control organisation such as the police makes it ‘fair game’ for undermining (EHRC, 2016).

The research identifies the impact of this historic policy failure to acknowledge the importance of intersectionality in matters of diversity and the continuing ‘struggle’ between race and gender within English policing. This factor then contributes to the ‘invisibility’ of BAME women in policing. In doing so it makes BAME women susceptible to ‘unique tactics’ of bullying and harassment, which contribute to their impeded progression as compared to their white counterparts. These ‘unique tactics’ are underpinned/enhanced by the police ‘organisation’ and enforced by police ‘culture’.

The thesis argues, that the failure to ‘grasp’ the issue of bullying and harassment of BAME women within British Policing is due, in part, to a lack of effective leadership; which is driven by a ‘crisis management’ culture around issues of race and gender (CRE, 2004; Ghaffur, 2004; Rollock, 2010). Furthermore, the research argues, that this situation is compounded by a paucity of evidence-based research in this area, which contributes to intensifying the perceived and actual ‘invisibility’ of BAME women within contemporary English policing.

The thesis concludes, that; the bullying and harassment of BAME women in Police Services in England, is underpinned by issues of patriarchy and racism; which are difficult to challenge in bureaucratic and hierarchical organisations like the Police. It is argued in the research that Police Services in England have developed on ‘face value’ effective policies and procedures to deal with bullying and harassment however, it is the implementation of the bullying and harassment policies and procedures and the way in which certain sections of the organisation handle them (Department of Professional Standards (DPS) and Human Resources (HR)) where the tension lies. This is due to the viewpoint established by this research that those police departments responsible for handling cases of bullying and harassment of BAME women do not have many BAME people working within them (HASC, 2016). It is argued here that this makes implementation of bullying and harassment policies difficult, as these individuals do not truly understand the nature of racism which is essential to be able to tackle the bullying and harassment of BAME women. Furthermore, the forceful police culture, does its utmost to maintain and protect the organisation from those BAME women who would expose it both internally and externally for bullying and harassment. This triggers a range of acts; aimed at undermining, discrediting and isolating the victim through drawn out investigative processes. These acts are aimed at maintaining power and order and are enabled through the operation of police culture; which by its very nature facilitates ‘corruption’ of processes in the handling of bullying and harassment cases.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bullying harassment discrimination, Black women, BAME women in police, Race and gender in policing, Sexualisation and subordination
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 09:49
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2019 08:21
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/39980

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