The Abstract Police and Occupational Culture

Rowe, Michael, Ralph, Liam, Millie, Andrew and Jones, Matthew (2022) The Abstract Police and Occupational Culture. In: The Abstract Police: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Change in Police Organisations. Eleven International Publishing, The Hague, pp. 15-34. ISBN 9789051892086; 9789462362642

Abstract Police.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (240kB) | Preview


This chapter uses data from qualitative interviews with serving police officers, police community support officers (PCSOs) and police civilian staff (herein referred to as staff) from four English police services to explore potential consequences of 'abstract' forms of policing for occupational identity, subculture and, relatedly, staff well-being. Terpstra et al. (2019: 340) use the concept of "abstract police" to describe a situation within contemporary policing where, "both internally and externally, the police have become more at a distance, more impersonal and formal, less direct, and more disconnected". They argue that forms of abstract police impact on relations, both internally with colleagues and externally with partners and the public.

In this vein, we identify changes to police working practices that make police more abstract. According to those interviewed, these changes to police practices could have a negative impact on mental and physical health in the workplace, in part because they have reduced opportunities for informal mutual support - identified as important for mitigating the impact of stressful, risky and dangerous experiences.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Police, Abstract Police, Occupational Culture
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 10:52
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2022 11:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics