Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid

Article

Tussen praat en daad: politiecultuur en politieoptreden

Trefwoorden police culture, police behavior, Sensemaking, Ethnography
Auteurs Wouter Landman
Auteursinformatie

290089 Wouter Landman
Wouter Landman is onderzoeker bij Twynstra Gudde.
  • Samenvatting

      In police practice and science, police culture is often seen as having a significant influence on the behavior of police officers. With his article Police (canteen) subculture, Waddington challenged this perspective in 1999. He argued that the expressive talk in the canteen is an area of action that is separated from the behavior on the street. This led to a discussion in the police literature about how to interpret the relation between police culture and police behavior. In this article this discussion is enriched with new empirical research. This research resulted in 22 patterns that police officers use to make sense of their environment in order to act in that environment. A distinction is made in three environments: organization (canteen), street (surveillance) and situation (encounter with citizens). The distinction in different environments for sensemaking helps to re-interpret the relation between police culture and police behavior and shows that police culture and police behavior are related in rather complex ways. Police culture influences the behavior on the streets through the cultural knowledge they share in the canteen, and which they use to make sense of concrete situations in which they have to act. At the same time, the point made by Waddington seems also true. The patterns of interaction between police officers have also a function in affirming their worldview and beliefs, regardless of their behavior on the streets. His perspective is just to one dimensional. A multidimensional view on the relation between police culture and police behavior is preferable if we want to understand the relation between police culture and police behavior.

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