Impact of police cultural knowledge on violent serial crime investigation

Impact of police cultural knowledge on violent serial crime investigation Purpose – This paper aims to examine the influence of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crimes. Specifically, it aims to identify whether such knowledge impacts the way in which investigative techniques are implemented. Of particular interest is the police knowledge specific to victims of violent serial crimes. Design/methodology/approach – A case study analysis of five incidents of serial murder and four incidents of serial rape in Australia was conducted. This included a qualitative analysis of cold case files from New South Wales Police, Australia. These data were triangulated with data obtained from interviews with detectives who had investigated incidents of serial murder and serial rape from that agency. Findings – The police cultural knowledge relating to the victims of these crimes at the time of reporting negatively impacted the subsequent investigation of these cases. This resulted in a marked delay in the recognition of cases as part of a series of crimes and a delay in the allocation of investigative resources. This knowledge was informed by police experience in street policing, not from experience in the investigation of violent serial crimes. Research limitations/implications – This paper is limited to selected cases of serial crimes that occurred in Australia. Practical implications – This research suggests that police cultural understandings of victims need to be reviewed and changed to include knowledge of serial crime victims, offenders and their crimes. Such changes could contribute to improved recognition of related crimes as being serial in nature, essentially opening the way to preventing further victimisation. Originality/value – There is no research that considers the impact of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crime, and its subsequent contribution to the length of time of the series of crimes remains unconnected. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Emerald Publishing

Impact of police cultural knowledge on violent serial crime investigation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1363-951X
DOI
10.1108/13639511111106623
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the influence of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crimes. Specifically, it aims to identify whether such knowledge impacts the way in which investigative techniques are implemented. Of particular interest is the police knowledge specific to victims of violent serial crimes. Design/methodology/approach – A case study analysis of five incidents of serial murder and four incidents of serial rape in Australia was conducted. This included a qualitative analysis of cold case files from New South Wales Police, Australia. These data were triangulated with data obtained from interviews with detectives who had investigated incidents of serial murder and serial rape from that agency. Findings – The police cultural knowledge relating to the victims of these crimes at the time of reporting negatively impacted the subsequent investigation of these cases. This resulted in a marked delay in the recognition of cases as part of a series of crimes and a delay in the allocation of investigative resources. This knowledge was informed by police experience in street policing, not from experience in the investigation of violent serial crimes. Research limitations/implications – This paper is limited to selected cases of serial crimes that occurred in Australia. Practical implications – This research suggests that police cultural understandings of victims need to be reviewed and changed to include knowledge of serial crime victims, offenders and their crimes. Such changes could contribute to improved recognition of related crimes as being serial in nature, essentially opening the way to preventing further victimisation. Originality/value – There is no research that considers the impact of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crime, and its subsequent contribution to the length of time of the series of crimes remains unconnected.

Journal

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 8, 2011

Keywords: Murder; Violent crime; Criminals; Knowledge management; Organizational culture; Australia

References

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