Through critical eyes of the public: Factors influencing professionalism in the detective service in the Gauteng Province
Keywords:Attributes, detective service, public, professionalism
This study aimed to determine what general detective attributes are considered professional in the South African Police Service (SAPS) based on public assessments. This study followed a quantitative research approach and utilized a non-probability, purposive, or judgmental sampling technique. The findings confirmed that good attributes such as acting with integrity, in line with the values and ethical standards of the SAPS, expand on earlier studies that suggested informal contact raises public opinion of the police. It could be that those predisposed to be more favorable are likelier to initiate informal contact with officers. In any event, it seems likely that promoting informal social contact may favorably influence public opinion. The SAPS may want to evaluate how they encourage or discourage informal contact with residents. It would seem then, from the findings of this study, that if more general detectives would portray greater attributes when interacting with the public, there would be more legitimacy, less victimization, less fear of crime, lower perceived levels of violent crime, a lower perceived disorder in one’s neighborhood, and higher neighborhood cohesion and control.
Aphane, M. & Mofokeng, J. (2021). South African Police Service capacity to respond to cybercrime: Challenges and Potential. Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 56(4), 165-186. DOI: https://doi.org/10.35741/issn.0258-2718.104.22.168
Akaranga, S.I. & Makau, B.K. (2016). Ethical considerations and their applications to research: a case of the University of Nairobi. Journal of Educational Policy and Entrepreneurial Research, 3(12), 1-9.
Bain, R. (1939). The policeman on the beat. Science Monthly, 48, 5.
Bayley, D.H. (1998). Policing in America: Assessment and Prospects. New York, NY: School of Criminal Justice at the State.
Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices. Textbooks Collection. Book 3
Brooke, R. (2011). An Empathetic Psychological Perspective of Police Deadly Force Training. Journal of phenomenological Psychology, 42(2), 137-156. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/156916211X599735
Brown, J. (2000). Discriminatory experiences of women police: a comparison of officers serving in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 28, 91–111. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/ijsl.2000.0119
Carter, D. (2013). Homicide Process Mapping: Best Practices for Increasing Homicide Clearances. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Chakerian, R. (1974). Police Professionalism and Citizen Evaluations: A preliminary Look. Public Administration Review, 34(2), 141-148. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/974937
Chu, D. Song, J. & Dombrink, J. (2005). Chinese immigrants’ perceptions of the police in New York City. International Criminal Justice Review 15(2), 101–114. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1057567705283894
Davies, P. & Francis, P, (eds.). (2018). Doing Criminological Research. Sage, London, UK. ISBN 9781473902732.
De Vos, A. S.; Strydom, H.; Fouché, C. B. & Delport, C.S.L. (2011). Research at Grass Roots: For the Social Sciences and Human Service Professions: 4th edition. Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers.
Goldsmith, A. (2005). Police reform and the problem of trust. Theoretical criminology 9(4), 443–470. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480605057727
Gould, J., Carrano, J., Leo, R. A., & Young, J. K. (2013). Predicting erroneous convictions: A social science approach to miscarriages of justice. Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice.
Glomseth, R., Gott, S. & Petter, H. (2011). Professional Values in Knowledge Organizations: The Case of Police Districts. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 13(1), 100-125. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1350/ijps.2011.13.1.213
Greasley, P. (2008). Quantitative Data Analysis Using SPSS: An Introduction for Health and Social Science. Berkshire: Open University Press.
Greenwood, C.R., Hops, H. & Walker, H.M. (1977a). The program for academic survival skills (PASS): Effects on student behavior and achievement. Journal of School PgythclOgy, 15, 25-35. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-4405(77)90058-9
Greenwood, C.R., Hops, H. & Walker, H.M. (1977b). The durability of student behavior change: A comparative analysis at follow-up. Behavior Therapy, 8, 631-638. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(77)80192-5
Greenwood, P. W., Chaiken, J. M. & Petersilia, J. (1977). The Criminal Investigation Process. Massachusetts: The Rand Corporation.
Gross, S. R., Jacoby, K., Matheson, D. J., Montgomery, N. & Patil, S. (2005). Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 95,523.
Hallenberg, K. (2016). 'Benefits and challenges of academic police education'. In S. W. Phillips & D. K. Das (Eds.), Change and Reform in Law Enforcement: Old and New Efforts from Across the Globe. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, pp. 3-26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315369181-2
Holdaway, S. (2017). The re-professionalization of the police in England and Wales, 17, 588-604. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895817690214
IBM Corp. (2017). IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 25.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
Innes, M. (2007). Investigation order and major crime inquiries. In T. Newburn, T. Williamson, & A. Wright (Eds.), Handbook of criminal investigation (pp. 255–276). Devon, UK: Wilan Publishing.
Innes, M. & Brookman, F. (2013). Helping police with their enquiries: International perspectives on homicide investigation. Policing and Society, 23(3), 285–291. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2013.771542. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2013.771542
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). (2008). Improving 21st Century Policing through Priority Research: The IACP’s National Law Enforcement Research Agenda. Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Jordan, J. (2008). Serial survivors: Women’s narratives of surviving rape. Sydney: The Federation Press.
Jordan, J. (2012). Silencing rape, silencing women. In Handbook on Sexual Violence. Walklate, J. M. B. A. S. L. (Ed). London: Routledge.
Lai, Y. & Zhao, J.S. (2010). The impact of race/ethnicity, neighbourhood context, and police/citizen interaction on residents’ attitudes toward the police. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 685–692. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.04.042
Leedy, P.D. & Ormrod, J.E. (2015). Practical research: Planning and design (8th ed.). Upper SaddleRiver, NJ: Prentice Hall.
MacDonald, J. & Stokes, R.J. (2006). Race, social capital, and trust in the police. Urban Affairs Review 41(3): 358–375. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087405281707
McGurk, B., Platton, T. & Gibson, R.L. (1994). Detectives: A job and training needs analysis. In: G. M. Stephenson & N. K. Clark, eds. Rights and risks: The application of forensic psychology. Leicester: British Psychological Society, 24-31.
Mofokeng, J. (2022). Exploration on what constitutes an effective detective in South Africa. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 5(6), 334-344. https://doi.org/10.47814/ijssrr.v5i6.321. ISSN 2700-2497. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47814/ijssrr.v5i6.321
Mofokeng, J.T. 2020. Learning to forget: A critical review of knowledge management and knowledge exchange initiatives in the Detective Service. International Journal of Criminology & Sociology, 9, 1660-1675.
Mofokeng, J.T. 2018. Investigations and Detective Services. In Roelofse, C. & Gumbi, C. (Eds). Policing in South Africa Past and Present. Published by LexisNexis. ISBN978-0-6390-0256-9. pp. 337-384.
Mofokeng, J.T. (2015). An examination of factors influencing investigating officers’ retention in the South African Police Service. Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology Special Edition No 5/2015: Criminology in democratic South Africa: Coming of age, 34-51.
Mofokeng, J.T. (2012). Perspectives on Skills Gap on Supervision and mentorship within South African Police Service. Acta Criminologica. Southern African Journal of Criminology, CRIMSA 2011 Conference Special Edition, (1), 70-84.
Mofokeng, J.T. & Aphane, M.P. (2022). Evaluating Knowledge Management Capabilities During Crime Scene Processing in the Detective Service. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, 15(9), 11-28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2020.09.190
Mofokeng, J.T. & De Vries, I. 2016. Anti-Fraud training in the South African Police Service (SAPS): A strategic perspective. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies, 8 (2), 84-102.
Mofokeng, J.T. & De Vries, I.D. (2012). Marriage of Convenience (Expert Perspectives on General Detective-Public Prosecutor Relations in South Africa). OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, 04 (04), 27-34.
Mofokeng, J.T. & Mathosa, M.F. (2019). The Principles of Criminal Investigation. Publisher, Pearson.
Motsepe, L.L. (2019). A Critical Analysis of the Investigative Capacity of General Detectives in Handling Fraud Cases. Unp. thesis for the degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy. University of South Africa: Pretoria.
Nolin, J. (2008). In search of a new theory of professions. University of Borås: Borås.
Parsons, T. (1954). Essays in sociological theory. New York: Free Press.
Ponto, J. (2015). Understanding and Evaluating Survey Research. Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, 6, 168-171. DOI: https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2015.6.2.9
Reiner, R. (2010). The politics of the police. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/he/9780199283392.001.0001
Reisig, M.D. & Parks, R.B. (2000). Experience, quality of life, and neighborhood experience: A hierarchical analysis of satisfaction with police. Justice Quarterly 17(3), 607–630. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07418820000094681
Schafer, J.A., Huebner, B.M. & Bynum, T.S. (2003). Citizen perceptions of police services: Race, neighborhood context, and community policing. Police Quarterly, 6(4), 440–468. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1098611102250459
Schwartz, G.J., Schurink, W.J. & Stanz, K.J. (2007). Frontline police employees? social construction of client service. South African Journal of Human Resource Management, 5(3), 38-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v5i3.150
Simpson, R. (2021). When police smile: a two-sample test of the effects of facial expressions on perceptions of police. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology 36, 170–182. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-020-09386-y
Skolnick, J.H. and Fyfe, J.J. (1993). Above the law: Police and the excessive use of force. New York: Free Press.
Snyman, R. (2010). The meaning of professionalism in policing: a qualitative case study, ActaCriminologica, 23, 3,16-39.
Sunshine, J. & Tyler, T. (2003). Moral solidarity, identification with the community, and the importance of procedural justice: The police as prototypical representatives of a group's moral values. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66(2), 153–165. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1519845
Tong, S. & O’Neill, M. (2019). Professionalizing Criminal Investigation—An Examination of an Early Attempt to Support Specialization in Criminal Investigation. Canterbury Christ Church University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paz010
Weitzer, R., Tuch S.A. & Skogan, W.G. (2008). Police-community relations in a majority-Black city. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 45(4), 398–428. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022427808322617
Wentz, E.A. & Schlimgen K.A. (2012). Citizens’ perceptions of police service and police response to community concerns. Journal of Crime and Justice, 35(1), 114–133. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0735648X.2011.631412
Wu, Y. (2014). Race/ethnicity and perceptions of the police: a comparison of white, black, Asian, and Hispanic Americans. Policing & Society, 24(2), 135-157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2013.784288
Wu, Y., Sun, I.Y. & Triplett, R.A. (2009). Race, class or neighborhood context: Which matters more in measuring satisfaction with police? JQ: Justice Quarterly, 26(1), 125–156. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07418820802119950
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Jacob T. Mofokeng, Pogiso Tshakane
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
For all articles published in IJRBS, copyright is retained by the authors. Articles are licensed under an open access Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license, meaning that anyone may download and read the paper for free. In addition, the article may be reused and quoted provided that the original published version is cited. These conditions allow for maximum use and exposure of the work, while ensuring that the authors receive proper credit.