Wellbeing, occupational justice and policing practice: An ‘affirming environment’

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines wellbeing and occupational justice within the police profession. The research presented is based on a preliminary study utilising a qualitative methodology in which 14 in-depth interviews were conducted with rank and file police officers in one state of Australia. The data-set reveals that there are many positive aspects to being a police officer, contrary to the ‘dysfunction’ research that exists concerning the police in which corruption and poor performance prevails. The data analysis supports the notion that the practice of the police can be understood through a framework of wellbeing, occupational justice, and positive psychology. Whilst the research yields strong positive aspects in the work police officers engage in, as well as in their working environment, there are challenges within the profession, namely dealing with traumatic events that can hinder wellbeing and occupational justice. This study offers evidence to reflect on current policies and practices in terms of police recruitment, education and training. The study also offers evidence for improving staff retention by building on the principles of wellbeing and occupational justice within police practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalPolice Practice and Research: an international journal
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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