Police perceptions on suicide amongst Durban Metro Police service in KwaZulu-Natal.
Khuzwayo, Eric Mandla.
MetadataShow full item record
This study analyses the perceptions of police suicide in the Durban Metro Police Service (DMPS). The research was necessitated by the increasing police suicide and suicide attempt rates within this municipality. Emile Durkheim’s theory of suicide was used in the study to assist in the identification of the causes and factors of police suicide. Conceptualization was based on the existing legislative, theoretical and conceptual perspectives that apply to suicide. These were drawn from various sources to provide insight into police suicide in South Africa. The nature of the study necessitated the use of interviews, literature review and focus group discussions in a qualitative research design to elicit information from the participants in the DMPS. The study established that within the DMPS, police suicide was caused by both personal and work-related issues such as working night shifts, availability of fire arms as well as the police culture which encourages officials to be masters of their own destinies. Such cultures constrain officials from communicating their problems, hence they commit suicide. The important role of the Suicide Prevention Workshop, the social workers and management was also revealed as important for reducing suicide rates within the DMPS. In view of the results, it is recommended that the nature of the working relationship amongst police management and employees be strengthened in order to create an environment of trust and openness within the department. Management should be on the lead in the development of this relationship. It is also important that the State intervene in the provision of training with regard to suicide. Management (both managers and supervisors) need to be given the first prioritize in the undertaking of such programmes so that they can be able to motivate their subordinates to undergo the same training. Training is also good for management in that managers and supervisors will be able to identify their troubled subordinates and then encourage their subordinates to attend the workshops. Some Suicide Prevention Workshops need to be conducted on a monthly basis to try and curb the suicide rate within the police department. Both the department and the State must invest resources in the development of the workshops. Future research need to focus on determining the reasons why officers despise attending workshops. It is also essential to explore the manner and the approach use by DMPS management in referring troubled officers for assistance. More importantly, research is needed in exploring the perceptions of subordinates concerning their managers and the services rendered by the Employee Assistance Services (EAS).