Children's perceptions of the role of police: a qualitative study
Powell, Martine B., Skouteris, Helen and Murfett, Romana 2008, Children's perceptions of the role of police: a qualitative study, International journal of police science & management, vol. 10, no. 4, Winter, pp. 464-473.
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A qualitative methodology, using open-ended questions, was employed to explore the perceptions of 112 children regarding the role of police. The children, aged 5 to 6 and 7 to 8 years, were asked to comment on what police officers do when they go to work, what direct and indirect experiences they have had with the police, and the positive and negative aspects of being a police officer. The findings revealed that children emphasise the punitive role of police; very few children identified with non-punitive roles. This punitive theme was evident irrespective of the children's experiences, age, and whether they could recall television shows involving police. The practical implications of our findings for police relations with children, particularly in a forensic interview context, are discussed.
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