'There comes a point where people just can't cope': exploring the views and experiences of frontline officers

Matthew Callender, Bernadette Doran, Laura Knight, David Hill

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePosterpeer-review


This study investigated the views and experiences of frontline officers. It aimed to explore: 1. Motivations for working on the frontline; 2. Factors influencing job satisfaction; 3. Communication and change; 4. Factors effecting operational performance and 5. Partnership working across the different participating agencies engaged in the criminal justice system. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 26 frontline officers working in a range of departments and roles. Qualitative data obtained via interviews were analysed thematically, using Braun and Clarke's (2006) six steps of thematic data analysis (1. Familiarisation; 2. Generation of initial codes; 3. Searching for themes; 4. Reviewing themes; 5. Defining and naming themes; 6. Write-up). This focus of this poster is the presentation of findings relating to the wellbeing of frontline officers. The analysis revealed how frontline officers were passionate about delivering positive outcomes for communities and people in need. In response to changing staffing levels and profiles, linked with a climate of economic constraint, accounts of frustration were linked with a desire to meet a (self-)imposed standard of quality in their engagements with the public. The data showed how frontline officers were going over-and-above to meet expectations, which has potential implications for stress, anxiety and an imbalanced home-work life. There were mixed viewpoints on the management of wellbeing by senior officers, with some being depicted as uncaring and not valuing the person outside of their formal role. The poster will present implications for the management of frontline officers by senior officers and call for a renewed focus on improving the wellbeing of officers on the frontline. While organisational strategies are welcomed, it is critical for supervising officers to create an everyday culture that prioritises wellbeing of frontline officers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016
EventBritish Society of Criminology Policing Network Research Showcase - College of Policing, Ryton
Duration: 11 May 2016 → …


ConferenceBritish Society of Criminology Policing Network Research Showcase
Period11/05/16 → …


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