Journal Article

Differences in Performance among Swedish Uniformed Police Officers

Stefan Holgersson and Johannes Knutsson

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 210-217
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Differences in Performance among Swedish Uniformed Police Officers

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This study looked into the level of activity and the quality of uniformed police officers' work, by means of participant observation, interviews, and archival data on the number of interventions taken on the officers' own initiative. Regarding activity, the study showed that with an increasing number of years of service, the level of uniformed police officers' activity decreased. Regarding the quality of uniformed police work, a scale was employed in order to measure it, establishing different levels of acceptable performance. Officers who did not interact with citizens in an acceptable manner and/or did not apply rules or routines in a proper manner were designated ‘not acceptable’. Officers who merely responded to calls for service but who did not take enough initiative by themselves achieved only the lowest level of acceptable performance. If they made interventions on their own initiative to a passable extent, they achieved a higher level. In order to achieve the highest level, officers had to show a high degree of professionalism. Only a small fraction was judged to reach the highest standard.

Journal Article.  4155 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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