Journal Article

Implications of the Changing Gender Ratio amongst Warranted Police Officers

Jennifer Brown and Susan Woolfenden

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 5, issue 4, pages 356-364
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Implications of the Changing Gender Ratio amongst Warranted Police Officers

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Two case studies were undertaken, one in a metropolitan and the other a provincial police force in England and Wales, which estimated the gender balance in the warranted police officer establishment. By 2020, women are projected to reach and overtake the 35% ‘critical mass’ and, if there is no further increase in police numbers, will reach parity by 2029 given the projected wastage and recruitment rates. Since, at present, women officers have a greater average rate of sickness absence compared to male colleagues and the added factor of maternity leave, the increasing number of women in the officer workforce is calculated to have an impact on the number of available deployable days. The article looks at the implications of the changing ratio and the prospect of gender parity on identity of policing and management of police officers, introducing ideas of the relationship psychological contract and public expectation of its police service against the backdrop of fiscal restraint. It is suggested that financial pressures may re-draw gender demarcations.

Journal Article.  4277 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Policing

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