Responding to violent assaults against police

Dawes, Glenn, Chong, Mark David, Mitchell, David, and Henni, Margaret (2019) Responding to violent assaults against police. External Commissioned Report. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia. (Unpublished)

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This research was the result of a partnership between a multidisciplinary team from James Cook University and staff from Queensland Police Service (QPS). The two year project stemmed from conversations about concerns relating to the high incidence of assaults against front line QPS officers from members of the general public. This led to the generation of the research question of "What are the main reasons why police officers in Queensland are assaulted in the course of executing their official duties?" Specifically the project focused on the five aims:

1. To gain the perceptions of Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers regarding the emotional social and physical impacts as a result of being assaulted by members of the community.

2. Identify the precipitating factors which resulted in assaults against QPS officers from as well as how police respond to potential conflict situations with members of the public.

3. To compare the nature and frequency of the types of assaults against police from urban regional and remote locations.

4. Identify gaps in the training and professional development of police officers in terms of responding to potential conflict situations.

5. To gain the perceptions, beliefs and attitudes of offenders who have been convicted of assaulting police concerning their self-esteem, attitudes to aggression, impulsivity, behavioural and self-control, as well as attitudes to authority, in order to identify the precipitating factors which led to these conflicts with police.

To address the research question and aims, a mixed methodology was adopted consisting of qualitative data including semi-structured interviews with police who had been the victims of assaults as well as prisoners who had been charged with assaulting police. In addition, quantitative date was obtained from police and prisoners through the use of a series of psychological scales which measured behavioural and attitudinal characteristics of individuals. Finally, interpretive data relating to the analysis of five cases recorded from police body worn cameras was obtained to identify factors which increase the likelihood of police being assaulted. The triangulation of the data from each source allowed for the formulation of a number of informed observations which contributed to the key recommendations outlined in the this report including mandatory sentences for offenders, better police communication training, a public education programme and support for officers who were the victims of assaults.

Item ID: 62291
Item Type: Report (External Commissioned Report)
Keywords: assault; Violence; Police, communication, prisoners
Funders: James Cook University, Queensland Police Service
Projects and Grants: James Cook University Partnership Grant
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 01:29
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440211 Police administration, procedures and practice @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440201 Causes and prevention of crime @ 60%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940404 Law Enforcement @ 60%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940402 Crime Prevention @ 40%
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