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NCJ Number: 118605 Find in a Library
Title: Avoiding Trouble: The Patrol Officer's Perception of Encounters With the Public (From Police Research: Some Future Prospects, P 89-106, 1989, Mollie Weatheritt, ed. -- See NCJ-118600)
Author(s): C Norris
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Gower Publishing Co Ltd
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR, England
Social Sciences Research Council
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Grant Number: S82117305; G00428325065
Sale Source: Gower Publishing Co Ltd
Gower House, Croft Road,
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR,
United Kingdom
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study documents, from the stance of a participant observer, how British police officers manage troublesome encounters with citizens.
Abstract: Previous research on police-citizen encounters has primarily focused on three sets of variables presumed to explain officer behavior: individual, situational, and organizational explanations. One of the problems with such studies is that they do not acknowledge organizational and occupational constraints that shape officer decisionmaking. The decisions made by an officer when dealing with citizens in particular circumstances are not based on a neutral reading of the classical sociological variables of age, sex, race, and class or the more relevant variables such as suspect's demeanor or the legal seriousness of the offense. Instead, the decisions are filtered through an occupational lens, which refocuses the officer's perspective on immediately relevant and practical concerns. The officer's principal concern in any citizen encounter is the avoidance of negative sanctions, either from the organization, in the form of disciplinary proceedings or the loss of perks; or from the public, in terms of challenges to authority which entail physical or psychological harm. 50 references.
Main Term(s): Police-citizen interactions
Index Term(s): Police discretion; Police research; United Kingdom (UK)
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