A comparative analysis of conventional themes of police culture perceptions : a sample of South African Police Service ‘detectives’ and ‘patrol officers’.
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The aim of the study was to report on a proportional examination amid a group of proactive (uniform) officers as well as reactive (detectives/plain clothes) officers from the South African Police Service (hereafter referred to as SAPS) in the Republic of South Africa for gauges exhibiting the presence or absence of conventional public police (sub)culture (herewith referred to as police culture) themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism in terms of Van Maanen’s (1975) and Manning’s (1989) metamorphosis stage of police culture socialisation. The data for the current study were gathered between September 2013 and June 2014. Using a survey format, the research employed a non-experimental ex post facto research design. Overall, the study found relatively strong indicators evincing the presence of the police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism amongst a sample of five hundred and twenty (520) SAPS appointed police officers in the Republic of South Africa. Each of the respondents had a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the SAPS. More specifically, the study discovered no statistically significant differences among the police cultures solidarity, isolation and cynicism attitudes of patrol officers (proactive/uniform) and reactive (detectives/plain clothes) police officers. The findings of the study, although relatively limited, call into question the contemporary fashionable view (Fielding, 1989; Hobbs, 1991; Chan, 1997; Marks, 2005; O’Neil and Singh, 2007; Sklansky, 2007; Cockcroft, 2013) that new developments in policing have dramatically changed police culture and that orthodox universal homogenies of police culture are unhelpful, outdated and no longer make any sense. The study reports on a comparison of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism attitudes among a sample of proactive officers (uniform section) and reactive (detective) SAPS officers in the Republic of South Africa.
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