Κυριακή, 14 Απριλίου 2019

Police and Criminal Psychology

Physical Fitness and Psychological Hardiness as Predictors of Parasympathetic Control in Response to Stress: a Norwegian Police Simulator Training Study

Abstract

The individual biopsychological response to a specific stressor is the result of a complex interplay between many different factors including physiology, behavior, and personality. The goal of the present study was to explore the potential link between physical fitness, hardiness (Kobasa 1979), and the individual autonomic stress arousal experienced during a stressful police training situation (active shooter). Eighty-four police students participated in the study and were randomly assigned to either a high-stress or a low-stress testing condition. Hardiness was measured with the Dispositional Resilience Scale (Hystad et al. 2010). Physical fitness was assessed with \( \dot{\mathrm{V}}{\mathrm{O}}_{2\max } \) . Parasympathetic control was measured using heart rate variability (HRV), i.e., the root mean square successive difference (RMSSD). Regression analysis showed that psychological hardiness had a negative main effect on change in parasympathetic activity from baseline to the testing phase (B = − 1.43, t = − 2.81, p = 0.007). Larger withdrawal of parasympathetic activation for high-hardy individuals in this phase of the study can be interpreted as an adaptive adjustment to the task set in front of them. A second regression analysis showed that both psychological hardiness (B = − 1.47, t = 3.68, p < 0.001) and physical fitness (B = 0.89, t = 2.85, p = 0.006) had significant main effects on change of parasympathetic activity entering the recovery phase of the study. Both regression coefficients were positive, with higher scores on hardiness and physical fitness predicting greater parasympathetic activation at stress offset. Overall, the results suggest that psychological hardiness and physical fitness may be important factors in how operational stress affects the individual in a police setting. Those high in hardiness and good physical form seem to be better able to recuperate and reset after a stressful incident, something that can be vital in an operational context. These results will be discussed in relation to the existing literature in the field.



Validation and Calibration of the Spanish Police Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment System (VioGén)

Abstract

This study describes the rationale, development, and validation of the intimate partner violence (IPV) police risk assessment forms of the VioGén System of the Spanish Ministry of Interior (VPR4.0 and VPER4.0), which promote greater predictive effectiveness and an improvement in the IPV law enforcement prevention. A validation study of the mentioned protocols is presented, including inter-observer reliability, estimated by the equivalence or inter-judge reliability method, while the convergent validity of these protocols was calculated with the RVD-BCN protocol. The sample consisted of 6613 new cases of IPV included in the VioGén System over a period of 2 months and which were longitudinally followed up for 6 months. The discrimination indexes are not only the summarized odds ratio (OR), area under the ROC curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity, but also the calibration indexes positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV). The results show the suitability of using procedures which, in a coordinated manner, incorporate two risk assessment instruments, one for a first screening assessment and a second one to re-assess IPV danger situations on a regular basis. The values obtained are within the margins reported by different meta-analyses regarding this type of instruments, which supports their use for professional practice.



Stalking Victimization: Examining the Impact of Police Action and Inaction on Victim-Reported Outcome

Abstract

Drawing data from a sample of stalking victims, this study assessed the impact of nine subsequent police actions, including police inaction, on victim-reported outcome of their stalking situation after the incident was reported to the police. The outcome variable has three response categories: the situation got worse, the situation stayed the same, and the situation got better. The author found three of the nine police actions were significantly related to the outcome variable. The author found that victims were more likely to report that their stalking situation improved when the responding officer took a report or warned the perpetrator. The author also found that police inaction increased the odds of victims reporting that their stalking situation worsened as well as the odds of victims reporting that their stalking situation improved. Implications of these findings are discussed.



Job Competencies of Border Security Officers in Singapore

Abstract

Border security officers are a country's first line of defense against undesirable people, cargo, and conveyances. Operational lapses could therefore greatly undermine the safety and security of the country. As such, informed understanding of border security officers' competencies is crucial to ensure that the right individuals are selected for the job. An exploratory job analysis study was conducted with Singapore's border security officers to identify the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) essential for effective job performance. Data collection for this study includes collection of qualitative data on border security officers' job functions, tasks, and KSAOs required. The information was subsequently compiled into a Job Analysis Survey (JAS), where officers were asked to rate the KSAOs in terms of their importance and frequency of use in border security work. Results indicated that the major job functions performed by non-supervisory officers include primary immigration clearance of travelers and goods, while those performed by supervisory officers include secondary clearance and people management. Analysis of the list of KSAOs derived from the Job Analysis results revealed that there was generally a large overlap of KSAOs essential for both non-supervisory and supervisory officers to perform their job well. Some differences were observed as well due to the slightly different nature of work undertaken by the two groups of officers. The results of the present study along with its implications were further explored in the paper.



Examining the Effectiveness of Mental Health Education on Law Enforcement: Knowledge and Attitudes

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of the mental health module of a basic law enforcement training program in increasing knowledge of symptoms of mental illness and reducing related biases in newly hired law enforcement officers. The training module was investigated through the administration of a general knowledge questionnaire mirroring the training material and the AQ-27—a tool that measures stigmatizing attitudes. The results of this study show that training regarding the symptoms of mental illness can increase a law enforcement officer's general knowledge of psychological disorder and reduce bias against people with mental illness. The implications for the findings are that a mental health training module administered during basic law enforcement training should improve interactions between law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve by increasing knowledge and decreasing bias around mental illness.



Research Briefs


Police Profanity and Public Judgments of Guilt and Effectiveness in Officer-Involved Shootings

Abstract

Police shooting decisions have come under increasing scrutiny, and the degree to which potential jurors and witnesses understand those decisions is increasingly important. Officers under the stress of shooting situations may use profanity which may be recorded, but which does not relate to tactical outcomes. This research addressed how such profanity may influence public assessment of police performance. A paragraph was provided to respondents, describing a situation in which a male officer shot an armed adult male perpetrator. The officer was presented as either having used or not used profanity in the situation. Respondents were asked to address the officer's performance under these two different sets of conditions. Profanity resulted in a significantly higher perceived level of officer guilt in these situations, and a diminished perception of his professionalism, but did not result in a lower level of perception as to whether the officer had successfully resolved the situation or had done the "right thing." Results are discussed in terms of current cognitive theory and of practical application in the field and in court.



Dance Like No One's Watching: the Influence of Demand Characteristics When Examining Lineups via Computer or In-Person

Abstract

Lineup administrators may inadvertently bias an eyewitness' identification; as such, the blind-lineup administration is recommended to combat this bias. Three studies examined eyewitness identification accuracy when the lineup is presented on a computer versus in-person to determine whether computer-administrated lineups could replace in-person lineups to ensure blind administration. Study 1 (N = 378) varied whether the administration was on a computer versus in-person across the simultaneous, elimination, and wildcard procedures. Overall, participants were more accurate when presented with the online administration; moreover, participants were more accurate in target-absent lineups when presented with a simultaneous or elimination procedure compared to the wildcard procedure. Study 2 (N = 367) was similar to study 1 but used different stimuli and included the simultaneous, elimination, and elimination-plus procedures. Identification accuracy was comparable for online and in-person administration. Study 3 (N = 219) sought to examine why online administration was superior in study 1 by varying whether the researcher was present only during the identification task. When the researcher was present, participants were more likely to make a foil identification in the simultaneous procedure compared to the elimination procedure. The results of these three studies suggest that computer-administrated lineups may be a feasible solution to ensure blind administration.



Recent Police Recruits' Existing Knowledge of the Police and Organisational Commitment

Abstract

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to police officers' organisational commitment. This research paper contributes to this growing body of knowledge by investigating commitment amongst recent police recruits. The paper examines the extent to which new recruits' existing knowledge of the police service prior to becoming an officer predicts organisational commitment, and different possible sources of this pre-entry knowledge. Using a sample of 236 recent police recruits in England and Wales, the study observed a significant relationship between recent recruits' existing knowledge of the police service and their organisational commitment. Prior police work experience (both paid and voluntary) significantly predicted existing knowledge of the police service, and in turn organisational commitment. In comparison, pre-entry police training did not predict existing knowledge of the police service, and moreover was found to negatively predict organisational commitment. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to proposed changes to recruitment and entry routes into policing in England and Wales.



Fantasy, Opportunity, Homicide: Testing Classifications of Necrophilic Behaviour

Abstract

Although one of the more understudied sexual paraphilias, as an increasing number of cases are reported, it becomes pertinent to revisit academic analyses of necrophilia, particularly those attempts at classifying necrophilic behaviour. A case study is presented here of the development and enactment of necrophilic desire to determine the most appropriate means of categorising necrophilic behaviours. The study finds that until a stronger cohort of offenders can be established, a broader classification tool is preferable to excessive subdivisions of behaviour in grouping and understanding necrophilic activities, with the addendum that necrophiles can display a range of behaviours at any one time. Directions for law enforcement and clinicians are offered whilst the literature base is expanded.



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