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UK police custody officers’ psychosocial hazard exposures and burnout

Houdmont, Jonathan

Authors

Jonathan Houdmont jonathan.houdmont@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Purpose – Stress research in the UK policing has largely neglected to account for variance in the type of psychosocial hazard officers are exposed to across policing roles, highlighting the need for role-specific research that is capable of informing similarly specific stress reduction interventions. This study aimed to develop and assess exposure to a taxonomy of psychosocial hazards specific to the UK police custody work, consider the burnout profile of custody officers, explore relations between psychosocial hazard exposure and burnout, and compare the exposures of burned out and non-burned out custody officers.

Design/methodology/approach – Preliminary focus groups identified a series of psychosocial hazards specific to the custody officer role. A questionnaire administered to custody officers within a UK territorial police force assessed exposure to these psychosocial hazards and burnout.

Findings – Twenty-six custody-specific psychosocial hazards were identified, across nine themes. The proportion of custody officers who reported a high degree of burnout was above that found in normative data. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that exposures were positively related to emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Unrelated t-tests showed that respondents who reported high burnout also reported significantly higher exposures across all nine psychosocial hazard themes than those with sub-threshold burnout scores.

Originality/value – This is the first study to investigate the stress-related working conditions of the UK custody officers. It provides a foundation for future large-scale longitudinal studies concerned with validating the current findings and improving the health of officers engaged in this unique policing role.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Journal Policing: an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management
Electronic ISSN 1363-951X
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Houdmont, J. (2013). UK police custody officers’ psychosocial hazard exposures and burnout. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 36(3), doi:10.1108/PIJPSM-11-2012-0109
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-11-2012-0109
Keywords burnout
custody
police
psychosocial hazards
stress
UK
Publisher URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17095745&show=abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/2144/ . Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Houdmont_(2013)_UK_Police_Custody_Officers’_Stressor_Exposures_and_Burnout.pdf (247 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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