Professionalising the police pragmatically

Mccanney, John, Taylor, Julie ORCID logo ORCID: and Morris, Karen ORCID logo ORCID: (2024) Professionalising the police pragmatically. Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 97 (1). pp. 18-40.

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The College of Policing has stated its intention to have policing recognised as a profession. In pursuit of this ambition, they have created a Code of Ethics and introduced a graduate entry requirement for new recruits. These changes reflect common features of established professions such as medicine and the law. Another common feature of established professions is an established body of knowledge that informs professional practice. The College has developed a Crime Reduction Toolkit as the genesis of a knowledge base for policing. The evidence presented on the toolkit is generally based on random control trials and their systematic review. While this is accords with the evidence-based approach supported by the College and others it has been criticised as being too quantitative. Some commentators have argued that it overlooks the qualitative approaches such as ethnography which have been the traditional research approach to the study of policing and ignores the voice of practitioners. It is generally accepted that to date research has had little impact on policing practice. This article argues for the adoption of a pragmatic philosophical framework for the development and application of a professional knowledge-based for policing. Pragmatic philosophy would facilitate the incorporation of both qualitative and quantitative research into the creation of a knowledgebase. Furthermore, pragmatism is an action-oriented philosophy that accords with the College of Policing’s ‘what works’ agenda, and would not only accommodate practitioner research but provides a structure for changes to current practices that are needed if the police are to become a profession.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1740-5599
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Policing and Criminology
Institute of Health > Urgent and Primary Care
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2022 10:02
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 11:45


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