What is the strength of police and local authority cultural knowledge regarding anti-social behaviour?

  • Julian Commons

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis conducts a preliminary investigation into ASB cultural knowledge strength of a police force and a local authority within the same jurisdiction. ASB cultural knowledge strength is explored through ASB interpretation, themes and experiences of frontline officers and officers sitting at strategic layers within each organisation. With Police forces and Local Authorities receiving high profile criticism of ASB performance, organisational research suggests that a strong culture aligned to organisational mission and values fosters organisational effectiveness and superior operational performance. The universality of ASB culture and knowledge is examined in order to gain understanding of police and local authority organisational ASB effectiveness.

Using the newly developed reversed SACKDEN cultural knowledge framework, 15 semi structured interviews involving police and council officers at four equivalent strategic layers and 72 questionnaires across relevant frontline police and council officers were completed. The focus was to examine ASB cultural knowledge strength at four different organisational levels and across frontline officers. Through thematic analysis, strength was assessed by universality of response and density of effectiveness identifiers across questions designed around four cultural knowledge sets.

The study identified that despite a high degree of universality in organisational and personal value placed on ASB, there was a high degree of uniqueness overall in responses through strategic layers and across frontline officers of both police and local authority. This uniqueness in response to cultural knowledge questions indicates weak ASB cultural knowledge strength within the police and local authority examined in the study. The effect of low ASB symbolic referencing is seen through differences between both organisations, across strategic layers and the frontline, contributing to ASB cultural knowledge weakness. Low ASB symbolic referencing creates conditions for ASB polarisation theory. This study has further research implications regarding the importance of high ASB symbolic referencing and its effect on ASB operational performance.
Date of AwardSept 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorBarry Loveday (Supervisor) & Tom Ellis (Supervisor)

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