LUMSDEN, K., 2017. ‘It’s a profession, it isn’t a job’: Police officers’ views on the professionalisation of policing in England. Sociological Research Online: 22 (3), pp. 4-20.
This article focuses on police officers’ views of the professionalisation of policing in England against a backdrop of government reforms to policing via establishment of the College of Policing, evidence-based policing and a period of austerity. Police officers view professionalisation as linked to: top-down government reforms; education and recruitment; the building of an evidence-base; and the ethics of policing (Peelian principles). These elements are further entangled with new public management principles, highlighting the ways in which professionalism can be used as a technology of control to discipline workers. There are tensions between the government’s top-down drive for police organisations to professionalise and officers’ bottom-up views of policing as an established profession. Data is presented from qualitative interviews with 15 police officers and staff in England.
This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Sociological Research Online and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1360780417724062.