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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


STEYN, Jèan. A comparison of police culture attitudes of men and women in the South African Police Service over a ten year period. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2016, vol.56, n.2-2, pp.608-626. ISSN 2224-7912.

A comparison of police culture attitudes of men and women in the South African Police Service over a ten year period Contemporary ethnographers (Cockcroft 2013; O'Neill, Marks & Singh 2007; Sklansky 2005) argue that new developments in policing have changed the police, and that traditional understanding of police culture, as a consequence, is no longer relevant. More specifically, these researchers imply that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has changed many of the traits of police culture with regards to cynicism of and isolation from the public. The research paper attempts to contribute to this narrative by determining whether indicators evincing attitudes of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism amongst South African Police Service (SAPS) officials are gender neutral as well as showing a change over a ten (10) year period (January 2005 - June 2014). By making use of the 30-item police culture themes questionnaire, designed by Steyn (2005), the study established that South African Police Service (SAPS) cadets who commenced their basic training at the six (6) basic training institutes in South Africa (Pretoria, Chatsworth, Oudtshoorn, Graaff-Reinet, Phillippi and Bisho) in January 2005, entered the organisation with predispositions in furtherance of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. The period of "college/academy training" (January 2005 - June 2006) did not significantly counteract these tendencies, neither did the subsequent "field training" (July 2005 - December 2005). Nine (9) years on, and these attitudes intensified to an overall average of seventy percent (69.85%). The study further found that for the duration of the project (10 years), female trainees and their ensuing conversion to fully-fledged police officials had mostly stronger values exhibiting police culture solidarity, police culture isolation and police culture cynicism, compared to their male counterparts.

Keywords : South Africa; police; policing; police culture; police culture themes; solidarity; isolation; cynicism; male; female.

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