Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Women in Policing

  • Jennifer Brown
  • Tim Prenzler
  • Anne R. van Ewijk
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_293


Women rarely entered policing at the inception of a nation’s police force(s), rather their entry was delayed and then often marked by circumscribed roles and limited occupancy of all available ranks. Four broad phases can be identified when women officers were recruited into the police: after World War I, the interwar years, after World War II, and the modern period from the 1980s onwards. With some variations, one familiar pattern is observable whereby there is a period of omission, followed by limited succession, formation of separate women’s departments, and in some jurisdictions a further stage of working towards full integration. At time of writing, there is no evidence of a fully integrated police organization where women represent 50 % of the officer workforce and enjoy an equivalent share of the full range of roles and ranks within the police hierarchy.

The experiences of women in policing were not subjected to systematic study until the 1970s when Susan Martin...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Brown
    • 1
  • Tim Prenzler
    • 2
  • Anne R. van Ewijk
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Mannheim Centre, Department of Social PolicyLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK
  2. 2.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and SecuritySchool of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Political and Social Sciences, GRITIM (Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration)Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.SamhoudUtrechtThe Netherlands