Police research and interviewing police elites

Tong, S. (2011) Police research and interviewing police elites. In: The Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing Conference, 6-7 September 2011, University of Northampton. (Unpublished)

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When Sir Ian Blair (2005) pointed towards the example of health, with ‘doctors surrounded by people with views on medical ethics’ and ‘endless university departments for research’, he was noting the stark contrast to policing, where ‘informed commentary’ was ‘piece meal’. Along with the continued call for professionalisation (see, Neyroud, 2011), increasing engagement between the police and universities offers an opportunity for knowledge development and its dissemination through training, education and professional development to practitioners.

To this end then, it is important to gain access to, and interview, police leaders, whose knowledge in matters of policy and their power over the control and strategic direction of their organisations is invaluable to researchers who want to critically investigate the policing organisations and build a greater level of engagement between policing organisations and HEI’s. The research interview is a crucial method in de-constructing belief systems, meaningful practices and subjective motivations that lie behind decision making and strategy direction. It offers participants the flexibility of an open ended approach to questioning and the opportunity to express their views and contribute knowledge under the protection of anonymity. For the researcher, often faced with ethical dilemmas and barriers to data collection, such interviewing offers unique and rich insights into police practices and leadership. This paper draws on the experiences of its authors in their own interviews with police elites- from senior managers to detectives- to consider the challenges faced by the researcher, and the research outcomes generated from such interviews.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7551-8280.7 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Law and Criminal Justice Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Steve Tong
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2012 17:04
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:10
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/11248

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00