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The interface between exercise of state power and personal powerlessness: a study of police perceptions of factors impacting professional practices

Watson, Danielle and Boateng, Francis and Pino, Nathan and Morgan, Paula (2018) The interface between exercise of state power and personal powerlessness: a study of police perceptions of factors impacting professional practices. Police Practice and Research, n/a . pp. 1-14. ISSN 1561-4263

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    Abstract

    Police legitimacy is crucial to the maintenance of law and order in any society. In communities marred by high instances of societal manifestations of dysfunction, tenuous legislative frameworks, sporadic implementation, and dismantling of crime fighting strategies, there is greater emphasis placed on quick-fix crime fighting solutions and policing initiatives. The focus is placed primarily on what police officers are mandated to do as opposed to practical applications underscored by systematic hindrances to professional practice. Examining interview data from a pilot study on police fear of crime in Trinidad and Tobago, this study is intended to explore connections between police perceptions about personal powerlessness and the exercise of state power. Here we examine the discourses of N = 12 senior police officers with an average of 22.83 years of service to attain a preliminary understanding of instances presenting a conflict between professional practice and perceptions of self-preservation. The findings suggest a need for officers’ constant consideration of the repercussions of professional competence and the need for continued navigation of blurred constructions of police legitimacy and subjective determinants of criminality against a backdrop of acknowledged personal powerlessness.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Danielle Watson
    Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 15:22
    Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 15:22
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/10557
    UNSPECIFIED

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