Police, trust and the social contract: An exploratory Australian study

Philip Birch

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An exploratory study into the well-being and resilience of police officers in the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) was conducted in Australia. During thematic analysis, one theme Trust in Policing emerged strongly, and vivified the value and role trust had for police in the social contract, pact or agreement (Rousseau, 1998) officers had with the NSWPF. Following Rousseau’s (1998: 15) theory, we framed the police organisation as a metaphorical micro society, with police as members of that micro society, a society that operates within a larger society. The findings offer previously unexamined insights into individual and collective perspectives, feelings and work lives of police officers, especially with regards to trust. Recommendations to enhance the organization’s capacity to promote trust in a law enforcement environment are made, especially to enhance officers’ resilience and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Applied Social Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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