Karen Bullock

Professor Karen Bullock

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Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.



Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision

Courses I teach on


My publications


This qualitative study is an empirical examination of the lived experience of women’s ‘life-course persistent’ offending and – for some – the episodes of ‘prolific’ offending which pockmarked it. It investigates factors central to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of women’s enduring recidivism within the context of the individual life course, as well as seeking to understand the impact of various criminal justice interventions – including the Prolific and other Priority Offender [PPO] initiative – in shaping their offending trajectories over the life-course. Twelve incarcerated women in two English prisons, identifiable as either ‘persistent’ (six or more convictions across the life-course) and/or ‘prolific’ (identified as a PPO), and fifteen criminal justice practitioners and professionals participated in the study. Data was generated by drawing on life-course, ‘pathways’, narrative, and feminist modes of inquiry and analysis. The overall research findings drew attention to the centrality of addiction in the ‘criminal careers’ of female persistent and prolific [PAOP] offenders, and that these addictions often had their roots in women’s acute trauma histories, and the subsequent adoption of substance use as a (maladaptive, and enduring) coping strategy. The biographical accounts provided by the women suggest that the language of ‘persistence’ may serve to obscure the lived realities of repeat criminalisation, which in their experience were better understood as recurrent episodes of attempted, or frustrated, desistance. The accounts given by practitioners and professionals highlighted that while largely sensitive to the need for gender-responsive interventions in working with female PAOP offenders, a lack guidance, resources, and access to appropriate services can act to undermine their abilities to respond in accordance with this awareness. Finally, both practitioners and PAOP offenders alike indicated that the androcentric and risk-focused PPO framework was not appropriate effectively supporting substance-addicted female PAOP offenders in ‘getting out of the life’ they were often so desperate to leave behind.
This thesis contributes to the internationalisation of criminological knowledge about gender and crime through a cross-national analysis of female ex-offenders' qualitative experiences of crime and criminal justice in two European countries; Sweden and England. Grounded in a feminist methodological framework, the study draws on 24 life-story narrative interviews with 12 repeat female offenders in Sweden and 12 in England, who, at the time of the interview, self-identified as desisters. Three major phases of the female journey through crime and criminal justice are represented in the study, namely; the female pathway into crime, the female experience of criminal justice and lastly, the female route out of crime. Some cross-national symmetry is detected across the samples, particularly in the areas of female experiences of gendered victimisation and issues around short custodial sentences. Overall; however, the findings demonstrate that diverse macro-processes and models, especially in terms of 'inclusive' versus 'exclusive' penal cultures, effectually 'trickle down' and produce distinctly different female micro-experiences of crime and criminal justice in Sweden and England. Providing new qualitative evidence of the 'Nordic Exceptionalism thesis’, the findings indicate that, comparatively, the Swedish model offers a macro-context, supported and reflected in allied meso-practices, which is more conducive to the formation of lasting female routes out of crime and into active participation in 'mainstream' society. The principal qualitative mechanisms that underpin this argument, identified as distinctive to the Swedish model through the cross-national thematic analysis, include: (1) a more robust infrastructure supporting individual change, exemplified in high-quality drugs and alcohol provisions; (2) lived experiences of legitimacy and trust in criminal justice interactions, encouraging less conflictual relations between the individual and authorities; (3) the impact of normalisation ideals and practices within criminal justice processes, ultimately enabling a smoother transition out from the system, and lastly; (4) subjective experiences of more accessible and attractive routes into participation and inclusion, including structured and holistic investments in quality employment support.
Nigel Fielding, Karen Bullock, Jane Fielding, Graham Hieke (2017)Patterns of Injury on Duty and Perceptions of Support amongst Serving Police Personnel in England and Wales, In: Policing and Society28(9)pp. 1005-1024 Taylor & Francis
This article reports the findings of a large scale survey (N=10,897) which sought to reveal patterns of injury on duty (IoD) and perceptions of organisational and other support amongst serving police personnel in England and Wales. We found that IoD is a multi-faceted issue incorporating wide-ranging physical and psychological injuries and illnesses. We also found that, by their own testimony, IoD is not experienced equally amongst police personnel. Reported experiences of IoD together with satisfaction with, and priorities for, support in the aftermath of injury were shaped by injury type, the role played in the police organisation and the individual characteristics of police personnel, notably, gender. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed.
Karen Bullock (2016)(Re)presenting ‘order’ online: the construction of police presentational strategies on social media, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy28(3)pp. 345-359 Taylor & Francis
Embedded in Goffman’s (1959) concept of impression management and drawing on interview data this article examines cultural and organisational features which come together to shape how police officers construct presentational strategies on social media. The article explores how in presenting an image institutions and individuals must give engaging expression which concurs to a dominant cultural script whilst, simultaneously, avoid giving off expressions which threaten individual and institutional efficacy, reputation and legitimacy. In so doing, it is argued that officers face, and must come to negotiate, a series of challenges. This article considers the nature of these challenges, the ways that institutions and individuals have responded to them and implications for the construction of ‘order’ online.
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2009)Evidence-Based Policing and Crime Reduction, In: Policing: A journal of policy and practice3(4)pp. 381-387 Oxford University Press
There have been calls for research evidence to be drawn into police practice. We examine evidence-based practice in the policing and crime reduction agenda, drawing on the experience of implementing problem-oriented policing in the UK and beyond. We suggest that that the development of such an agenda has been hampered by certain factors. Evidence is not routinely used by police officers (or partnerships) developing strategies to deal with crime problems who prefer to deliver traditional (law enforcement) responses. There is a limited knowledge base on which practitioners can draw in developing responses to crime problems, and the nature of evidence about what is effective is contested amongst academics. Whilst welcoming the moves to incorporate evidence in policing, we caution against excessive optimism about what can be achieved and make some recommendations for those engaged in developing evidence-based practice.
KA Bullock, P Johnson (2012)The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Policing in England and Wales, In: British Journal of Criminology52(3)pp. 630-650 Oxford University Press
This article explores the impact of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 on the police service of England and Wales. It draws upon qualitative data produced during interviews with police personnel to provide the first empirical study of the influence of the HRA on the police service at an organizational level and on the day-to-day working practices of police officers. Whilst the fundamental aim of the HRA is to protect and enhance citizens’ rights and freedoms, we argue that there is little evidence to suggest that it has promoted a greater awareness of, and respect for, human rights amongst police officers. Rather, the HRA has become institutionalized by the police service into a series of bureaucratic processes that, although requiring conformity by officers, do not encourage active consideration of human rights issues. Instead of shaping police work to make it more responsive to human rights, bureaucratic processes are used by officers to legitimize and justify their existing practices. Focusing on ‘risks’ rather than ‘rights’, officers satisfy the ‘tests’ introduced by the HRA through an assessment of the dangers posed by particular individuals and crime types and the resource implications of effectively managing them. An important result of this is that the HRA is not used to achieve a balance between individual rights and community interests, but becomes a framework for mandating police decision making and protecting officers from criticism and blame.
This thesis draws upon self-determination theory (SDT) and qualitative interviews with (mostly) long-serving prisoners participating in an innovative strengths-based rehabilitation programme in three English prisons. It aimed to explore prisoners’ initial motivation for joining the programme; the ways in which motivation to participate changed over time; and the usefulness of SDT’s conceptualisation of motivation - as relatively extrinsic or intrinsic according to fulfilment of basic psychological needs (BPNs) for competence, autonomy and relatedness - for exploring prisoners’ motivation. It contributes to the literature by considering motivation to participate through the lens of SDT; focusing on an atypical rehabilitation programme; enhancing qualitative insight into prisoners’ motivation to participate in rehabilitation programmes; exploring participants’ perceptions of their motivation over time; and the potential for programme participation to influence prisoners’ early-stage desistance. Prisoners were initially motivated by a combination of motives that are variously extrinsic and intrinsic in nature. These include to ‘give back’; to aid their rehabilitative journeys; to gain skills; a lack of alternative opportunities in the prison; and to enhance their release prospects. Motives relating to giving back and personal rehabilitation were sustained and/or reinforced over time. Supporting SDT predictions, prisoners’ motivation fluctuated according to how far participating satisfied BPNs for competence, relatedness and autonomy. Internal motivation was enhanced by an increasing sense of empowerment, self-mastery and achievement/responsibility; positive connections with others; and experiencing therapeutic change. Prisoners’ internalisation of motivation to make amends primarily drove continued participation and reinforced early intentions to desist. Constraints within the programme and/or wider prison context sometimes undermined motivation, thus external motives also influenced motivation over time. However, prisoners’ continued partially extrinsic motivation was not as detrimental to coexisting autonomous forms of motivation as SDT would predict. These findings have implications for applying SDT in the prison context, for academic research, rehabilitative practice and prison policy.
Karen Bullock, Annie Bunce (2018)‘The Prison Don’t Talk to You about Getting Out of Prison’: On Why Prisons in England and Wales Fail to Rehabilitate Prisoners, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice SAGE Publications
The position of rehabilitation in prisons in England and Wales has long been debated. Yet studies which consider how prisoners experience rehabilitative practices and processes are rare. Drawing on prisoners’ accounts, this article considers their perceptions and lived experiences of the ways in which rehabilitation is influenced by the nature of organisational support for rehabilitation; the characteristics of interventions implemented to support rehabilitation; and the complexion of the prison climate. We find the perception of an institutional failure to take responsibility for rehabilitation. Rehabilitative interventions – notably Offender Management Programmes (OMPS) and work placements – are perceived to be self-serving in rationale. They are experienced as ill-resourced, superficial in approach and unlikely to engender change. The prison climate, characterised by a lack of interest amongst correctional staff, lack of empathy and concern, and mixed - but often impersonal and sometimes antagonistic - relationships between prison staff and prisoners, further disrupts any ethos of rehabilitation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2008)Understanding and tackling gang violence, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal.10(1)pp. 36-47 Palgrave Macmillan
Gang-involved shootings comprise a serious problem. A Manchester-based project addressing the issue was tracked and its development is discussed. The initiative moved from a planned focus on the situational determinants of shootings, drawing on the successful Boston Gun Project, to one that focused instead on the social determinants of gang membership. The term “ gang ” itself is highly ambiguous. Equally there are difficulties in defining and operationalizing the concept of “ gang membership ” for preventative and enforcement purposes. Practical uncertainties followed for the identification of individuals who belong to gangs or are at risk of becoming members, and hence warrant special project attention. This intrinsic uncertainty paved the way for disagreements between the practitioners in their estimates of the risks of gang involvement faced by individuals, in the selection of young people to focus on within the project, and in levels of concern about the consequences that might follow from negatively stereotyping young people as gang members. It is concluded that it may be more effective and efficient to target specific patterns of violent behaviour rather than gang membership for preventative and enforcement attention.
Police Support Volunteers (PSVs) are citizens who give their time freely to perform tasks that complement the duties of police officers and staff. Emerging over the last 25 years or so, PSVs feature in every police service in England and Wales, carrying out a range of tasks including administration, front counter duties, and community engagement activities. However, the evidence base around PSVs is distinctly underdeveloped with little in the way of empirical studies. This PhD study seeks to expand the currently narrow field of research through the first focused study of PSVs in the Metropolitan Police Service. The study considers the motivations of PSVs and influence these have on their experiences. It goes on to explore PSVs’ contributions, the importance they attach to ‘being useful’, the experiences they have alongside officers and staff, and the extent to which they feel recognised and valued for their time. Finally, the study turns to the organisation itself – the infrastructure in place to support, manage, develop, and involve PSVs – features that are recognised as central to volunteer experiences. Maximising opportunities for the police service and community to capitalise on the benefits of a police workforce that includes PSVs – engagement, communication, innovation, and a source of labour, skills, and expertise – requires a more developed understanding of the issues explored in this study. Indeed, failing to build such an evidence base to guide the involvement of volunteers, at best, risks oversight of the value that PSVs bring – at worst, the reputation of both volunteers and the police organisation. The study concludes with a call to rethink the way volunteers are involved in policing, reassign tasks, and reimagine the PSV within a landscape where the police service is faced with changing priorities and demands to do ‘more for less’.
This thesis examines police officers’ attitudes toward neighbourhood policing and the customer-focused ethos it embodies. The support of police officers is essential to the effective delivery of neighbourhood policing. Whilst much has been written about the low status afforded to this style of policing within the occupational culture, more empirical evidence is needed to understand the ‘drivers’ of officers’ attitudes and how police managers might encourage support for such strategies. The research is informed by the voices, experiences and perspectives of officers serving in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Using a mixed methods approach drawing on survey and interview data, the study assesses the cultural, organisational and wider contextual determinants of officers’ alignment to neighbourhood policing. In so doing, this study makes an important contribution to the existing literature, extending our knowledge about the barriers and conduits to the implementation of neighbourhood policing and the factors shaping the variations in officers’ cultural attitudes. Findings suggest that most MPS officers consider neighbourhood policing to be ‘real’ policing. Positive attitudes are strongly linked to officers’ organisational justice perceptions, attitudes toward serving the public and openness to their involvement. Senior ranking officers, women and those deployed in neighbourhood roles are highly supportive. Nevertheless, the results also expose that neighbourhood policing is often considered an inferior form of police work relative to other ‘specialisms’ and that rank-and-file officers do not always embrace the language of customer focus. It is argued that several organisational and contextual factors are undermining the positive sentiments most officers’ hold toward neighbourhood policing. This includes systems of performance measurement; specialisation opportunities; the composition of neighbourhood teams; training provision; role ambiguity; a perceived de-prioritisation of the neighbourhood function and declining organisational justice perceptions in the context of austerity. Ultimately, this has implications for officers’ commitment to their role and service provision.
KA Bullock (2014)Citizens, Community and Crime Control Palgrave Macmillan
From reporting crimes to volunteering for the police, it is clear that citizens and communities play fundamental roles in policing and the construction of crime control. Embedded in the examples of police-community consultation, community policing, Neighbourhood Watch, citizen patrols, the Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteers, this book provides a timely examination of the forms and functions of citizen and community participation in policing. Drawing on thinkers as diverse as Plato and Putnam, Bullock explores the historical circumstances and theoretical sources that have generated ideas about citizen and community participation in crime control. The book considers how these concepts have come to inform government policy and contemporary police practice, and the impact citizen participation has had upon political decision-making, accountability and the promotion of a 'democratic' police service. Analysing the nature, extent and parameters of citizens' participation and the problems that participation may produce in practice, this book will be an essential resource for scholars of Policing and Crime Control.
K Bullock, D Leeney (2013)Participation, 'responsivity' and accountability in neighbourhood policing, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice13(2)pp. 199-214 Sage Publications
Neighbourhood policing, a contemporary form of community policing developed in the United Kingdom (UK), has sought to increase public participation in policing and to develop processes through which residents work in co-production with partners and other state agencies to tackle problems. The aim has been to create mechanisms through which residents can hold the police service to account in dealing with the problems that matter to them. Drawing on interviews with neighbourhood policing officers, this article examines the operation of these processes in practice. We focus on the nature of resident participation in neighbourhood policing; the extent to which police officers organize their priorities around those of residents who participate; and the ways in which officers work with other state agencies and residents themselves to tackle certain problems. Ultimately, this article questions the notions of accountability embedded in neighbourhood policing and whether the neighbourhood policing approach offers an effective mechanism for holding officers to account by residents. © The Author(s) 2013.
KA Bullock, S Lister (2014)Post-Conviction Confiscation of Assets in England and Wales: Rhetoric and Reality, In: Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation fo Criminal and Terrorist Assets Ashgate
KA Bullock, G Farrell, N Tilley (2002)Funding and implementing crime reduction initiatives Home Office
A Millie, K Bullock (2013)Policing in a time of contraction and constraint: Re-imagining the role and function of contemporary policing, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice13(2)pp. 133-142 Sage Publications
Karen Bullock, N Tilley, R Clarke (2010)Introduction, In: Situational Prevention of Organised Crime Willan Publishing
K Bullock, RAL Meadows, I Brunton-Smith (2014)"DiscoverQuants": Integrating quantitative methods (QM) and substantive teaching for first year undergraduate sociology students., In: Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences.6(2)pp. 6-20
This paper considers the rationale for, design and outputs of a project, based at the University of Surrey UK and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which sought to integrate aspects of teaching substantive and Quantitative Methods (QM) teaching across first year sociology undergraduate programmes using a blended approach. The paper considers the nature of concerns regarding teaching QM within social science undergraduate programmes. It goes on to describe the rationale for this project, its design and its primary outputs. We consider a range of data related to student attitudes towards studying QM at university as well as their perspectives on the project and the implications for practice.
Karen Bullock (2017)The Mechanics of Reform: Implementing Correctional Programmes in English Prisons, In: The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice57pp. 3-20 Wiley
Delivering correctional programmes in the prison environment has proved challenging, and desired outcomes have not always been achieved. Drawing on interview data, this article considers the mechanics through which programmes are introduced into English prisons and how the environment shapes what is accomplished. We argue that the operation of programmes is influenced by institutional features (such as values, priorities and resources), situational features (such as the challenges posed by operating in the secure environment) and interactional factors (such as the attitudes of prison staff and the nature of programme-prison staff relations).
KA Bullock (2010)Generating and using community intelligence: the case of neighbourhood policing., In: The International Journal of Police Science and Management12(1)pp. 1-11 Vathek Publishing
This paper examines the role that community-generated information plays in neighbourhood policing, a key component of the UK police reform agenda. The neighbourhood policing agenda is concerned with the delivery of a consistent presence of dedicated neighbourhood teams which should be visible and accessible to the community. However, it also calls for the generation of community intelligence which should be used for local problem-solving and should be incorporated into National Intelligence Model (NIM) tasking. At the time of writing, the principle of incorporating information generated from the public into policing intelligence and priority setting thus has strong resonance, at least at the level of rhetoric of policy and practice. It is contended that difficult questions are posed in thinking through what it means to consult with the public, the nature of community-generated information and how it is translated into operational decisions and resource deployment. This paper explores the conceptual foundations of neighbourhood policing which are found in reassurance policing, problem-oriented policing and the National Intelligence Model. It then examines the current mechanisms for generating community information, prioritising problems, and delivering responses as they are applied in neighbourhood policing. It finishes with a critical discussion of the concept and practice of generating and using community information for setting local policing priorities.
KA Bullock (2010)The construction and interpretation of risk management technologies in contemporary probation practice, In: British Journal of Criminology51(1)pp. 120-135 Oxford University Press
This paper examines the governance of risk in probation practice in England and Wales. It is concerned with the construction of risk assessments and the subsequent management of those offenders determined to be ‘risky’. It is concerned especially with how notions of rehabilitation, regulation and punishment interact in contemporary risk management practice. The paper comprises, first, an examination of evidence regarding the nature and operation of risk management in probation practice. Second, it describes the findings of an empirical examination of the operation of contemporary practices. Lastly, it discusses implications for how risk management practice is understood.
KA Bullock (2011)Responding to anti-social behaviour: Analysis, interventions and the transfer of knowledge, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety13(1)pp. 1-15 Palgrave Mcmillan
This article examines contemporary responses to anti-social behaviour (ASB) in England and Wales. Drawing on empirical evidence, it examines how ASB problems are understood and prioritised by practitioners; the nature of the interventions developed and implemented to address problems; and the ways in which outcomes are evaluated. The article points to how systematic analysis of ASB problems is unusual and responses are usually reactive; there has been a focus on enforcement interventions rather than on the development of broader solutions to problems; and evaluation of outcomes is weak. These findings are discussed in relation to the development of the ASB agenda in England and Wales. Implications for solving problems are discussed.
KA Bullock (2012)Community, intelligence-led policing and crime control, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policypp. ?-? Taylor & Francis
This article examines the relationship between community policing, intelligenceled policing and crime control. Whilst community and intelligence-led policing have developed as distinctive reform movements within contemporary UK policing there have been calls for the two to interact in practice. In particularly, aspects of community policing are operationalised through the frameworks of intelligence-led policing. This article unpicks the structures and processes of (community) intelligence processes in detail. It focuses on the nature of information generated from community policing; how analytical products are constructed; and the nature of the officer tasking and briefing process. It is argued that community policing was conceived, at least in part, as an alternative to traditional reactive policing styles which coalesce around patrol, rapid response to incidents and enforcement of the criminal law. However, as community policing has evolved in practice it has become firmly embedded in conventional police-centric notions of ‘efficiency’, law enforcement and crime control.
Whilst as a branch of the extended police family they are under-researched, volunteers have long played a role within constabularies. However, in the context of dominant political ideologies which have called for citizens to be more active in crime control and, more prosaically, pressure on police budgets at a time of state contraction, the volunteer is becoming more visible both in policing policy discourse and in practice. A novelty within Anglo-Welsh policing, this article explores the development and deployment of police support volunteer (PSV) programmes. First, it examines the nature of the roles that PSVs play and how these relate to roles played by other actors in the organisation. Second, it explores aspects of their management focusing on their coordination, training and supervision. Third, it considers the degree to which PSVs are integrated into the organisation and accepted by other actors who work therein, and discusses the reasons why the promulgation of PSVs might be resisted by salaried staff. Lastly, the article considers the implications in light of the scholarship on the pluralisation of policing focusing on the interlinked themes of effectiveness, coordination and integration and regulation and accountability.
A Sidebottom, Karen Bullock (2017)Gating Alleys to Reduce Crime: A Meta-Analysis and Realist Synthesis, In: Justice Quarterly35(1)pp. 55-86 Taylor & Francis
Alley gates are designed to limit access to alleys and the crime opportunities they afford. Informed by the acronym EMMIE we sought to: 1) systematically review the evidence on whether alley gates are Effective at reducing crime, 2) identify the causal Mechanisms through which alley gates are expected to work and the conditions that Moderate effectiveness, and 3) collate information on the Implementation and Economic costs of alley gating. The results of our meta-analysis suggest that alley gating is associated with modest but significant reductions in burglary, with little evidence of spatial displacement. We also identified six mechanisms through which alley gates might plausibly reduce crime, and the conditions in which such mechanisms are most likely to be activated.
Ian Brunton-Smith, Karen Bullock (2018)Patterns and Drivers of Co-production in Neighbourhood Watch in England and Wales: From Neo-liberalism to New Localism, In: British Journal of Criminology59azy012pp. 85-106 Oxford University Press
Established in England and Wales in the context of the neo-liberal governments of the 1980s and promoted through the New Local agenda of New Labour and beyond, Neighborhood Watch (NW) is a primary means through which the state and citizens may co-produce crime control. However, whether citizens have the time or inclination to co-produce is debated and it is generally believed that NW proliferates in advantaged, low crime rate areas that need it least. Drawing on analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (1988-2010/2011) this article examines long-term trends in participation in NW. It examines the proliferation of NW, how household support for NW fluctuates once established, and the changing importance of some of the key household drivers of participation in NW. It then assesses the extent to which NW schemes are concentrated in more affluent areas, showing that this is moderated by crime risk.
KA Bullock, P Johnson (2016)Faith in Policing: The Co-production of Crime Control in Britain, In: The British Journal of Criminology: an international review of crime and society
Involving faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the production of crime control has been seen as a way of increasing efficiency, promoting accountability and improving trust and confidence in policing. In this article, which draws on qualitative research, we consider how police officers understand the role of faith in policing, engage with faith communities and work with FBOs to mobilize crime prevention activities. We demonstrate that any effective co-production of crime control that involves faith communities and FBOs requires police officers to negotiate a number of complex and multifaceted issues. We argue that the co-production of crime control has symbolic, moral and technical qualities which all need to be successfully negotiated to achieve its aims.
Karen Bullock, Jon Garland (2017)Police Officers, Mental (ill-) Health and Spoiled Identity, In: Criminology & Criminal Justice18(2)pp. 173-189 Sage Publications
This article considers the processes through which some police officers with mental ill-health experience stigmatisation in police organisations. Situated in the sociological framework of Goffman (1963) and in modified labelling theory (Link et al. 2004, inter alia) it draws on the findings of a qualitative study and examines the sources of stigma embedded in police work, the consequences of stigma for the labelled officer, the nature of any resistance to the application of the label, and approaches to challenging stigma within the policing context. It suggests that in order to tackle these negative attitudes constabularies must do more to address the processes of stigmatisation associated with mental ill-health at the individual and institutional levels.
This book makes an important contribution to the literature on problem-orientedpolicing, aiming to distill the British experience of problem-oriented policing.
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2009)Born to fail?: policing, reform and neighbourhood problem-solving., In: The Police Journal82(2)pp. 117-133 Vathek Publishing
The issue of problem solving as a component of neighbourhood policing is an important and potentially highly problematic one. The UK government claims in its 2008 Green Paper, From the Neighbourhood to the National, to be ‘absolutely committed to neighbourhood policing as the bedrock for local policing in the 21st Century’. Yet experience tells us that implementation of problem solving is likely to be far from straightforward. This article draws attention to the many obstacles identified over 25 years of experimentation with the principles of problem solving. The article examines what is known about implementation of problem solving in the police service and the factors which influence its delivery. It draws attention to lessons learnt and the implications for the delivery of neighbourhood policing.
KA Bullock (2009)Problem-oriented policing, In: The SAGE dictionary of policing Sage Publications
Karen Bullock (2018)Retiring from the Police Service in England and Wales: A Multi-dimensional Perspective, In: Ageing and Society Cambridge University Press
The experiences of police officers who have retired from the police service have rarely comprised the focus of empirical studies in England and Wales. Drawing on the findings of a survey of former police officers, this article examines the circumstances within which officers leave the service and aspects of the transition to retirement. We find that that certain individual, role, and organisational factors come together to explain how the transition to retirement is experienced by police officers. We conceptualise police retirement as a multi-dimensional process during which a number of factors may come into play and have different effects depending on the circumstances in which retirement occurs. Findings are considered in light of wider conceptualizations of the process of retirement and implications are discussed.
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)Introduction: the concepts, implementation and outcomes of problem-oriented policing in the UK and the US, In: Crime reduction and problem-oriented policing Willan Publishing
K Bullock (2014)Criminal benefit, the confiscation order and the post-conviction confiscation regime, In: Crime, Law and Social Change62(1)pp. 45-64 Springer Verlag
Governments and law enforcement agencies around the world seek to identify and confiscate the 'proceeds of crime' on the assertion that doing so will deter offending and symbolise to citizens and communities that 'crime does not pay'. In the UK such assertions have underpinned the enactment of legislation, the investment in law enforcement agents and the development of wide ranging new technologies to facilitate the identification of assets and their recovery. This paper critically considers two key concepts which fundamentally drive the post-conviction confiscation regime in the UK. First, 'criminal benefit' which is the amount that a defendant is adjudged to have made from 'criminal conduct'. Second, the 'available amount' which is the amount that the state hopes to recover from a defendant via the court ordered 'confiscation order'. In so doing, this paper explores the assumptions at the heart of the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act and their application in practice, concentrating on the nature of the powers accorded to financial investigators and how these powers have been interpreted and applied. It is argued that far from representing the 'profit' generated from crime these values are constructs founded in the relationship between legislation, the discretional practice of police officers and financial investigators, organisational restrictions and constraints and informal negotiation and compromise between the defence and prosecution. This has implications for both conceptualising the nature of the post-conviction confiscation regime as well as for shaping what the state might expect to recover from defendants. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
K Bullock, N Tilley (2003)Crime Reduction and Problem-oriented Policing Willan
KA Bullock, P Ekblom (2010)Richness, retrievability and reliability-issues in a working knowledge base for good practice in crime prevention, In: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research16(1)pp. 29-47 Springer Verlag
This paper focuses on descriptions of crime prevention projects identified as ‘good practice’, and how they are captured and shared in knowledge bases, with the purpose of improving performance in the field as a whole. This relates both to evidence-based approaches to practice, and to growing attempts at explicit knowledge management. There are, however, fundamental issues in the transfer of effective practice in the crime prevention field, which few working knowledge bases have properly addressed. Evaluation often remains weak and descriptions of successful projects do not always contain the right information to help practitioners select and replicate projects suitable for transfer to their own contexts. Knowledge remains fragmentary. With these concerns in mind this paper systematically examines the projects contained in the UK Home Office ‘Effective Practice Database’, a repository of project descriptions volunteered and self-completed on a standard online form by practitioners. The Home Office descriptions (and their equivalents elsewhere) reveal significant limitations of richness, retrievability and reliability. Ways of addressing these issues are discussed, ranging from the media and processes of ‘knowledge-harvesting’ to the use of more purpose-designed frameworks such as 5Is. But the fundamental issue remains one of taking knowledge management seriously and investing sustained time, money and leadership effort to make it work.
KA Bullock, D Leeney (2015)On matters of balance: an examination of the deployment, motivation and management of the Special Constabulary, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy9(1)
KA Bullock, R Clarke, N Tilley (2010)Situational Prevention of Organised Crimes. Willan Publishing
Situational crime prevention is the art and science of reducing opportunities for crime. Despite accumulating evidence of its value in reducing many different kinds of crime - such as burglary, fraud, robbery, car theft, child sexual abuse and even terrorism - little has previously been published about its role in reducing organised crimes. This collection of case studies, by a distinguished international group of researchers, fills this gap by documenting the application of a situational prevention approach to a variety of organised crimes. These include sex trafficking, cigarette and drug smuggling, timber theft, mortgage fraud, corruption of private professionals and public officials, and subversion of tendering procedures for construction projects. By moving the focus away from the nature of criminal organisations to the analysis of the crimes committed by these organisations, the book opens up a fresh agenda for policy and research. Situational Prevention of Organised Crimes will be of interest to those tasked with tackling organised crime problems, as well as those interested in understanding the ways that organised crime problems have manifested themselves globally, and how law enforcement and other agencies might seek to tackle them in the future.
KA Bullock (2010)Enforcing financial penalties: the case of confiscation orders, In: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice49(4)09/201pp. 328-339
Financial penalties are the most widely used sentence in England and Wales, but present difficulties for enforcement. This article examines the enforcement of confiscation orders – a relatively poorly understood financial penalty. Drawing on interviews with actors in the confiscation order process this article examines the processes through which confiscation orders are enforced. It is argued that enforcement is the result of an interaction of factors which include the initial decision making of police officers, financial investigators and prosecutors; the accuracy of information about offenders' financial affairs; enforcement powers, intelligence and operational support; and, the behaviour and attitudes of the offender.
Karen Bullock, Jon Garland, Freya Coupar (2019)Police officer transitions to retirement in the United Kingdom: social identity, social support, and (in)justice, In: Policing and Societypp. 1-15 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
This article draws on qualitative interviews to examine police officers’ experiences of transitioning to retirement in the United Kingdom, a matter that has been hitherto under researched. We find that the well-established routines and the social identity conferred by the police role are severed at retirement and the transition to retirement may be experienced as disruptive. This has implications for self-esteem, access to support, and perceptions of fairness of the organisation. However, we further argue that retirement is a multidimensional concept and experienced differently, depending on the context and circumstances in which it occurs. When officers are underprepared or retired for medical reasons, the transition was especially disruptive. The article makes important contributions to the literature on police officer social identity, well-being, and organisational justice.
K Bullock, K Sindall (2014)Examining the nature and extent of public participation in neighbourhood policing, In: Policing and Society24(4)pp. 385-404
Situated within the 'New Localism' agenda neighbourhood policing, a contemporary form of community policing operating in England and Wales, has sought to increase citizen participation in shaping the direction of local policing. Whilst public participation has been viewed as central for the operation of community policing by its advocates, others have been much more critical about what can be achieved. Concerns have been raised that participation has been low and 'regressive' rather than 'progressive' in its effect. Using binary logistic regression models constructed from Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly British Crime Survey) data, this study confirms that the majority of the population do not participate and demonstrates that awareness of and participation in neighbourhood policing are shaped by an interaction of factors related to demography, the life course, neighbourhood attachments, facets of social class, perceptions of crime and disorder and attitudes to the police. We conclude that while neighbourhood policing is likely to be consumed by the 'usual suspects', there is also evidence that neighbourhood policing does not have a wholly regressive effect. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
KA Bullock (2010)Improving accessibility and accountability – neighbourhood policing and the policing pledge., In: Safer Communities: international journal of community safety.9(1)pp. 10-19
In times of increasing pressures on the police service, looking after the well-being of its staff has never been more paramount. However, there has been little academic consideration either of the nature of organisational support for officers injured in the line of duty, nor of the implications for injured officers and constabularies. This article aims to fill this lacuna by drawing on interviews with police officers in England and Wales to examine officers’ perceptions and experiences of organisational support following injury on duty. We report that in the context of perceptions of cynical attitudes of leaders regarding injury, the organisational devolution of responsibility for recovery to the officer, and in the limited nature of the provision of interventions designed to aid recovery, injured officers described how they lacked support, were dealt with inappropriately, and were approached unsympathetically and sceptically. This left officers feeling cut off in the aftermath of injury. The article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the role of organisational justice by providing insights into why fairness judgements are important to officers. We suggest that uncertainty and anxiety in the aftermath of injury was the prism through which organisational responses to their injury were interpreted by officers and found to be wanting. Police organisations therefore need to fully understand this process as a first step in developing improved policies and practices that provide the help and support officers need when they are injured and feeling especially vulnerable.
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)The role of analysis: lessons from the crime reduction programme, In: Problem-oriented policing: from innovation to mainstream Willan Publishing
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)From strategy to action: the development and implementation of problem-oriented projects, In: Crime Reduction and problem-oriented policing Willan Publishing
KA Bullock (2010)The confiscation investigation. Investigating the Financial Benefit Made from Crime, In: Policing: A journal of policy and practice4(1)pp. 7-14 Oxford University Press
The court-ordered confiscation order is the primary means of recovering a defendant's financial benefit from crime. Whilst becoming more prominent within the police service, little is known about the role of the financial investigator and the operational processes which lead to a confiscation order. This paper examines the role of the financial investigators in confiscation proceedings along with their day-to-day tasks, training, status and profile within the police service. It identifies how cases are selected for financial investigation, distinguishing between proactive and reactive referrals. It sets out the powers that financial investigators have to investigate defendants’ financial affairs and the information that they draw on in practice. The paper examines the difficulties in integrating confiscation investigations with mainstream policing activities, highlighting the role of competing targets, the performance management regime and potentially perverse incentives. The paper ends with a call for the development of a proactive rather than reactive asset recovery regime.
Karen Bullock, Paul Johnson (2017)Police Engagement with Muslim Communities: Breaking Out, Breaking In, and Breaking Through, In: Policing and Society28(8)pp. 879-897 Taylor & Francis
This article considers the character of engagement between UK police forces and Muslim communities and citizens. It examines, from the perspective of police personnel, a range of factors that prevent police organisations from ‘breaking out’ of constraints that currently hinder their engagement with Muslim communities, limit police officers from ‘breaking in’ to Muslim communities in ways that would improve engagement, and facilitate police officers in ‘breaking through’ barriers between them and Muslim communities. The aim of the article is to offer a critical insight into engagement between police officers and Muslim communities and citizens that may aid and enhance such engagement in the future. Enhancing positive engagement between the police service and Muslim citizens is vital in the context of contemporary concerns about Muslim communities being the focus of a multiplicity of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies and, as a result, Muslims citizens retreating from participation in public life.
Karen Bullock (2018)Making Good in Unpromising Places: The Development and Cultivation of Redemption Scripts amongst Long-Term Prisoners, In: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology SAGE Publications
Generally regarded as an institution which frustrates rather than enables the process of desisting from crime, the potential for prisoners to find redemption in prison seems bleak. Despite unpromising conditions within the prison, we find strong evidence of reform and a desire to make amends amongst a cohort of long-term prisoners. Whilst these prisoners were all participating on a rehabilitation programme, their narratives of reform were highly individualised and situated in the context of their various experiences of long sentences. However, we report that these individualised accounts of reform were strengthened and facilitated in similar ways through interactions established via their programme participation. Specifically, the programme was experienced as fulfilling, empowering, and therapeutic. This functioned to reinforce participants’ sense of control, or self-mastery, increased their self-esteem, and instilled hope and confidence that an alternative, moral future may be achievable. Implications for supporting desistance in the prison are discussed.
K Bullock, D Leeney (2012)Public concern about serious organised crime, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety14(4)pp. 278-292 Palgrave Macmillan
The 2011 cross-government Organised Crime Strategy (Home Office, 2011) emphasises the need for community safety practitioners to provide information to help citizens recognise when they may be vulnerable to serious organised crime so that they might take steps to prevent victimisation and the need for the state response to serious organised crime to be supported by local communities. Drawing on focus group data, this article examines the nature of public concern about serious organised crime; citizen views regarding the police (and other agency) response to serious organised crime; and how information about serious organised crimes is communicated to members of the public. This article finishes by considering implications for community safety practice in light of the 2011 Organised Crime Strategy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.