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‘Unless one of us dies’: The stickiness of taint and perceptions of support in policing

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/12/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Police Science and Management
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date25/12/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Behaviour of certain members of a profession can ‘taint’ other workers. In this qualitative study, we explore how police officers perceive media constructions of their profession. Participating police officers feel ridiculed by the media and are overwhelmed by instances of public disdain. They acknowledge moments of esteem, often as a result of self-sacrifice, yet lament that these are generally temporary and fleeting, and instead, their profession is tarnished by the heinous acts committed by some police officers, constructed as representative of the profession as a whole. We discuss police officers’ understanding of the stickiness of ‘taint’ within their occupation and how it can affect perceptions of the self.