Procedural justice and frontline policing: the effects of the police complaints system

Sally Galovic, Philip Birch, Margaret H. Vickers, Michael Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present results from a qualitative study exploring the complaints system within New South Wales Police Force in Australia. The stories shared illustrate the impact of the complaints system on officers currently serving in this force. The study reveals how the complaints system impacts on both the working conditions and workplace environment of police officers, as well as impacting on the professional relationships amongst each other. Design/methodology/approach – The study is qualitative in design, in which in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 14 rank and file police officers. The qualitative analysis draws upon a thematic approach and a direct reference to police officer comments and perspectives are illustrated and used to inform the framework of the discussion and implications for further research in this area. Findings – The findings yield three central themes – “police perceptions of accountability”; “the complaints tool – a question of intra institutional justice”; and “performance impact”. These are discussed in direct relation to what police officers revealed about their experiences and thoughts on the current complaints process in New South Wales. Practical implications – To review the complaints process in order to develop a more transparent process; to recognise the critiques of the complaints process, both by the general public and police officers, as valuable information to be used to inform improving the process; to consider restorative justice practices employed by other police forces as a means of finalising some complaint processes; to develop a more swift complaints process with more timely conclusions in order to minimise long-term issues such as sustained sick leave. Originality/value – This paper examines the link between accountability and performance, and the unintended consequences the complaints process has on police officers at work. This examination is conducted by drawing on current rank and file police officers lived experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic Practice
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2016

Fingerprint

Social Justice
Police
complaint
police
justice
police officer
New South Wales
Social Responsibility
sick leave
responsibility
Sick Leave
working conditions
Workplace
performance
experience
workplace
Interviews
examination
methodology

Cite this

@article{84e22b6af9064fe8a2dafa06fa857adb,
title = "Procedural justice and frontline policing: the effects of the police complaints system",
abstract = "Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present results from a qualitative study exploring the complaints system within New South Wales Police Force in Australia. The stories shared illustrate the impact of the complaints system on officers currently serving in this force. The study reveals how the complaints system impacts on both the working conditions and workplace environment of police officers, as well as impacting on the professional relationships amongst each other. Design/methodology/approach – The study is qualitative in design, in which in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 14 rank and file police officers. The qualitative analysis draws upon a thematic approach and a direct reference to police officer comments and perspectives are illustrated and used to inform the framework of the discussion and implications for further research in this area. Findings – The findings yield three central themes – “police perceptions of accountability”; “the complaints tool – a question of intra institutional justice”; and “performance impact”. These are discussed in direct relation to what police officers revealed about their experiences and thoughts on the current complaints process in New South Wales. Practical implications – To review the complaints process in order to develop a more transparent process; to recognise the critiques of the complaints process, both by the general public and police officers, as valuable information to be used to inform improving the process; to consider restorative justice practices employed by other police forces as a means of finalising some complaint processes; to develop a more swift complaints process with more timely conclusions in order to minimise long-term issues such as sustained sick leave. Originality/value – This paper examines the link between accountability and performance, and the unintended consequences the complaints process has on police officers at work. This examination is conducted by drawing on current rank and file police officers lived experiences.",
keywords = "Accountability, Police legitimacy, Police performance, Policing duality, Political policing, Procedural justice",
author = "Sally Galovic and Philip Birch and Vickers, {Margaret H.} and Michael Kennedy",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
day = "8",
doi = "10.1108/JFP-11-2015-0051",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "170--181",
journal = "British Journal of Forensic Practice",
issn = "1463-6646",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Limited",
number = "3",

}

Procedural justice and frontline policing : the effects of the police complaints system. / Galovic, Sally; Birch, Philip; Vickers, Margaret H.; Kennedy, Michael.

In: Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 18, No. 3, 08.08.2016, p. 170-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Procedural justice and frontline policing

T2 - the effects of the police complaints system

AU - Galovic, Sally

AU - Birch, Philip

AU - Vickers, Margaret H.

AU - Kennedy, Michael

PY - 2016/8/8

Y1 - 2016/8/8

N2 - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present results from a qualitative study exploring the complaints system within New South Wales Police Force in Australia. The stories shared illustrate the impact of the complaints system on officers currently serving in this force. The study reveals how the complaints system impacts on both the working conditions and workplace environment of police officers, as well as impacting on the professional relationships amongst each other. Design/methodology/approach – The study is qualitative in design, in which in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 14 rank and file police officers. The qualitative analysis draws upon a thematic approach and a direct reference to police officer comments and perspectives are illustrated and used to inform the framework of the discussion and implications for further research in this area. Findings – The findings yield three central themes – “police perceptions of accountability”; “the complaints tool – a question of intra institutional justice”; and “performance impact”. These are discussed in direct relation to what police officers revealed about their experiences and thoughts on the current complaints process in New South Wales. Practical implications – To review the complaints process in order to develop a more transparent process; to recognise the critiques of the complaints process, both by the general public and police officers, as valuable information to be used to inform improving the process; to consider restorative justice practices employed by other police forces as a means of finalising some complaint processes; to develop a more swift complaints process with more timely conclusions in order to minimise long-term issues such as sustained sick leave. Originality/value – This paper examines the link between accountability and performance, and the unintended consequences the complaints process has on police officers at work. This examination is conducted by drawing on current rank and file police officers lived experiences.

AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present results from a qualitative study exploring the complaints system within New South Wales Police Force in Australia. The stories shared illustrate the impact of the complaints system on officers currently serving in this force. The study reveals how the complaints system impacts on both the working conditions and workplace environment of police officers, as well as impacting on the professional relationships amongst each other. Design/methodology/approach – The study is qualitative in design, in which in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 14 rank and file police officers. The qualitative analysis draws upon a thematic approach and a direct reference to police officer comments and perspectives are illustrated and used to inform the framework of the discussion and implications for further research in this area. Findings – The findings yield three central themes – “police perceptions of accountability”; “the complaints tool – a question of intra institutional justice”; and “performance impact”. These are discussed in direct relation to what police officers revealed about their experiences and thoughts on the current complaints process in New South Wales. Practical implications – To review the complaints process in order to develop a more transparent process; to recognise the critiques of the complaints process, both by the general public and police officers, as valuable information to be used to inform improving the process; to consider restorative justice practices employed by other police forces as a means of finalising some complaint processes; to develop a more swift complaints process with more timely conclusions in order to minimise long-term issues such as sustained sick leave. Originality/value – This paper examines the link between accountability and performance, and the unintended consequences the complaints process has on police officers at work. This examination is conducted by drawing on current rank and file police officers lived experiences.

KW - Accountability

KW - Police legitimacy

KW - Police performance

KW - Policing duality

KW - Political policing

KW - Procedural justice

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84980347999&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84980347999&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/JFP-11-2015-0051

DO - 10.1108/JFP-11-2015-0051

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84980347999

VL - 18

SP - 170

EP - 181

JO - British Journal of Forensic Practice

JF - British Journal of Forensic Practice

SN - 1463-6646

IS - 3

ER -