Kids aren’t the problem. Understanding police officer – school staff relationships within Safer School Partnerships.

Masters Thesis


Sweeney, S. 2020. Kids aren’t the problem. Understanding police officer – school staff relationships within Safer School Partnerships. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Law, Policing and Social Sciences
AuthorsSweeney, S.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMSc by Research
Abstract

Engagement with children and young people (C&YP) in schools within the context of policing is looked upon as a good idea. Yet, there are complexities in the relationships that allow and support police engagement within Safer School Partnerships (SSPs). However, despite SSPs being in existence in London since 2002, understanding the relationships within the partnerships is under researched. The aim of this study is to explore the working relationship between school staff and police officers working together within SSPs in London, to determine an effective SSP model. This study uses qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of police officers involved in SSPs, Head Teachers and members of schools’ senior leadership team.

The study concludes there are several common factors that impact the complex relationship within an SSP. There is a lack of clarity within SSP policy and guidance causing a myriad of working practices and a lack of understanding of SSPs. Establishing positive relationships within an SSP is vital in building trust but it can take between six months and one year to build trust and is made more complex due to pre-conceived impressions of the police. While it appears that ethnicity and/or gender play a part in how relationships within SSPs develop, they are only small parts to a larger group of attributes that contribute to a long-lasting SSP. However, SSOs are required to have good attributes commonly associated with ‘soft policing’. Moreover, issues affecting relationships within SSPs are not dealt with in any formal evaluation. The thesis concludes by making several recommendations to assist in improving relationships and creating more effective relationships within SSPs.

Keywords Safer School Partnerships; Engagement with children and young people; Working relationship ; School staff; Police officers; London
Year2020
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Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jan 2021
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8wz60/kids-aren-t-the-problem-understanding-police-officer-school-staff-relationships-within-safer-school-partnerships

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