The experience of policing critical incidents: thematic, narrative and interpretative phenomenological analyses

Eyre, Marie
The experience of policing critical incidents: thematic, narrative and interpretative phenomenological analyses. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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A phenomenological approach was adopted to examine police officers’ experiences of U.K. critical incidents. In the U.K. police service, critical incidents (CI) are incidents with a significant impact on the confidence victims, families, and the public have in the police. Data were e-focus groups for: i) operational debriefs (n = 9) and ii) reviews of service delivery (n = 9). With professional participants throughout (N = 250), the project had considerable ecological validity. Experiences of three types of incident, Serious Crime (SC) (n = 6), Counter-terrorist (CT) (n = 6), and Non-criminal (NC) (n = 6) were examined. Three qualitative methods - thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis, and narrative analysis - provided triangulation of method. Different incident types and police forces provided data triangulation. Results showed that the most common themes revolved around relationships with partners and communities; staff welfare concerns were also highlighted. Common experiences obtained across incident types: exclusion and pressure of incident were negative experiences; professional image and serving victims and families were positive experiences. Differences specific to incident type also emerged: humour was unique to CT experiences and functioned to divert from trauma and reinforce social bonds; taking control was a feature of serious crime incidents; uncertainty was unique to NC incidents. Models of the impact on staff welfare and uncertainty are presented. A social identity model of transforming experiences is also presented. Narrative exemplars are presented: SC incidents had a Media monster narrative; CT incidents had a CONTEST quest narrative; NC incidents had a Cheshire cat narrative. Extant literature is discussed throughout. Findings are discussed in relation to social identity theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-12 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical incidents, policing, crime, terrorism, phenomenology
Subjects: ?? H1 ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2015 11:29
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:27
DOI: 10.17638/02004040