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Police Community Support OfficersCultures and Identities within Pluralised Policing$
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Megan O'Neill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2020

Police Family Dynamics

Police Family Dynamics

(p.101) 5 Police Family Dynamics
Police Community Support Officers

Megan O'Neill

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 describes and analyses the day-to-day encounters between Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police officer colleagues. These encounters are important to consider in order to understand fully PCSOs’ occupational experiences. The pluralized public police in England and Wales are often described as a police ‘family’. However, just how functional and harmonious a family this is is shown to be variable between and within police forces. The chapter considers the reasons for this from within a dramaturgical framework, to appreciate fully the nature and organization of these face-to-face interactions. In particular, Goffman’s concepts of performances, teamwork, and regions will be used. The chapter argues that police officers and PCSOs operate as separate performance teams, rather than as one unified one, and that the relationships between these teams varies. In some areas, the teams worked in a complementary way, whereas in others, the relationship was competitive.

Keywords:   Police Community Support Officer, Goffman, dramaturgy, performances, teamwork, regions, interaction, police family, neighbourhood policing teams

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