Reforming the Force: An Examination of the Impact of the Operational Sub-Culture on Reform and Modernisation Within the Police Servic

Published 13/06/2012
Type Article
Author(s) Chris Alcott
Corresponding Authors Chris Alcott, graduate of MA Community and Criminal Justice, De Montfort University

This article explores the contention that the police service within England and Wales demonstrates difficulty in carrying out long-term reform and modernisation in response to criticism and critical case recommendations. It provides an exemplar in the form of the introduction of the Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) within the police service in 2006 as a means to provide the required initial education to new-to-role police officers. The argument is made that the specific sub-culture located in the area of the operational police response team acts to reduce the impact and effectiveness of reform and, in failing to take into account and mitigate such blocks to modernisation, provides a critical weakness in the change management processes of the police service. These contentions are briefly considered relative to the structures and operational cultures found within the Prison Service and the Probation Service. Work in these areas suggest possible conditions under which policy and practice reform within the police service may be more effectively delivered over the longer term.