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

Kyprianides, Arabella, Bradford, Ben, Stott, Clifford and Savigar-Shaw, Leanne (2021) Policing the COVID-19 pandemic: police officer well-being and commitment to democratic modes of policing. Policing and Society, 32 (4). ISSN 1043-9463

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Abstract or description

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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online:[Article DOI].”
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Depositing User: Leanne SAVIGAR-SHAW
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2021 09:08
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 14:35

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