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

Overview

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading and References

  1. Asiwaju K, Marenin O (2008) Policing Nigeria. In: Hinton MS, Newburn T (eds) Policing developing democracies. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  2. Banks C (2001) We have to prove we are not just women; policewomen in Papua New Guinea. Int J Comp Criminol 1:40–76Google Scholar
  3. Braithwaite H, Brewer N (1998) Differences in the conflict resolution tactics of male and female police patrol officers. Int J Police Sci Manag 1(3):288–300Google Scholar
  4. Brown JM (1998) Aspects of discriminatory treatment of women police officers serving in forces in England and Wales. Brit J Criminol 38:265–283Google Scholar
  5. Brown J, Heidensohn F (2000) Gender and policing: comparative perspectives. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown JM, Hazenberg A, Ormiston C (1998) Policewomen; an international comparison. In: Mawby R (ed) Comparative policing: issues for the twenty-first century. UCL, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Bureau of Justice Assistance (2001) Recruiting and retaining women: a self-assessment guide for law enforcement. US Department of Justice, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  8. Clarke Y (2008) Security sector reform in Africa: a lost opportunity to deconstruct militarised masculinities? Fem Afr 10:49–66Google Scholar
  9. Davenport S (2008) Affirmative action-setting the record straight. Grapevine 12(Spring):12–13Google Scholar
  10. Dick P, Cassell C (2002) Barriers to managing diversity in a UK constabulary: the role of discourse. J Manag Stud 39:953–976Google Scholar
  11. European Network of Policewomen (2008) Facts & figures 2008. www.enp.nl. Last access Nov 2009
  12. Foster J, Newburn T, Souhami A (2005) Assessing the impact of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. Home Office Research Study 294 Research Development and Statistics DirectorateGoogle Scholar
  13. Heidensohn F (2000) Sexual politics and social control. OUP, Milton KeynesGoogle Scholar
  14. Hinton MS, Newburn T (eds) (2008) Policing developing democracies. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  15. Home Office (2009) Police service strength, July 2009. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1309.pdf. Last access June 2010
  16. Home Office (2010) Assessment of women in the police service. Home Office, London. http://library.npia.police.uk/docs/homeoffice/assessment-omen-police-service.pdf. Last access 29 Nov 2011
  17. Igbinovia PE (1981) Pattern of policing in Africa – the French and British connections. Police J 54:123–156Google Scholar
  18. Irving R (2002) Career trajectories of women in policing. Trends and Issues in Crime and Justice no 370Google Scholar
  19. Ivkovic SK (2008) A comparative study of public support for the police. Int Crim Justice Rev 18:406–434Google Scholar
  20. Lonsway KA (2003) Tearing down the wall: problems with consistency, validity, and adverse impact of physical agility testing on police selection. Police Q 6(3):237–277Google Scholar
  21. Lonsway K (2006) Are we there yet? The progress of women in one large law enforcement agency. Women Crim Justice 18:1–48Google Scholar
  22. Lundman RJ (2009) Officer gender and traffic decisions; police blue or woman too. J Crim Justice 37:342–352Google Scholar
  23. Lunneborg PW (1989) Women police officers: current career profiles. Charles C. Thomas, SpringfieldGoogle Scholar
  24. Martin S (1980) Breaking and entering; policewomen on patrol. University of California Press, BerkleyGoogle Scholar
  25. Martin S, Jurik N (1996) Doing justice, doing gender. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  26. Moghadam V (2010) Women, structure and agency in the Middle East; introduction and overview. Fem Form 22:1–9Google Scholar
  27. Moon B, Morash M (2008) Policing in South Korea; struggle, challenge and reform. In: Hinton MS, Newburn T (eds) Policing developing democracies. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  28. Natarajan M (2002) Women police in Tamil Nadu, India; a tale of two cohorts. Int J Comp Criminol 2:201–224Google Scholar
  29. Natarajan M (2005) Status of women police in Asia; an agenda for future research. J Women Polic 17:45–47Google Scholar
  30. Natarajan M (2008) Women police in a changing society: back door to equality. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  31. National Center for Women and Policing (2002) Equality denied; the status of women in policing. National Center for Women and Policing, Beverly HillsGoogle Scholar
  32. Prenzler T (1994) Women in Australian policing; an overview. J Aust Stud 42:78–88Google Scholar
  33. Prenzler T, Fleming J, King A (2010) Gender equity in Australian and New Zealand policing: a five year review. Int J Police Sci Manag 12(4):584–595Google Scholar
  34. Pruvost G (2009) A profession in process: the atypical rise of women to the high rank of police “commissaire” in France. Sociologie du travail 51S:e34–e48Google Scholar
  35. Rabe-Hemp C (2008) Female officers and the ethics of care: does officer gender impact police behaviors? J Crim Justice 36:426–434Google Scholar
  36. Reams MB, Nelson (2008) Neofeudal aspects of Brazil’s public security. In: Haberfeld MR, Cerrah I (eds) Comparative policing; the struggle for democratisation. Sage, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  37. Schulz D (2004) Breaking the brass ceiling: women police chiefs and their paths to the top. Praeger, WestportGoogle Scholar
  38. Silvestri M (2003) Women in charge; policing gender and leadership. Willan, CullomptonGoogle Scholar
  39. Somvadee C, Morash M (2008) Dynamics of sexual harassment for policewomen working alongside men. Polic; Int J Police Strate Manag 30:485–496Google Scholar
  40. Strobl S (2010) Progressive or neo-traditional? Policewomen in Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries. Fem Form 22:51–74Google Scholar
  41. Timmins W, Hainsworth B (1989) Attracting and retaining females in law enforcement: sex-based problems of women cops in 1988. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 33(3):197–205Google Scholar
  42. Van Ewijk AR (2011) Dynamics of diversity within the Mossos d’Esquadra. In: Zapata-Barrero R, Van Ewijk AR (eds) Spheres of diversity: from concept to policy. CIDOB Edicions, Barcelona, pp 107–130Google Scholar
  43. Van Ewijk AR (2012) Diversity within police forces in Europe: a case for the comprehensive view. Policing 6:72–92Google Scholar
  44. Waugh L, Ede A, Alley A (1998) Police culture, women police and attitudes towards misconduct. Int J Police Sci Mgt 1:288–300Google Scholar

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