A Narrative Review of the Literature on the Recruitment of Younger Police Officers in Age and in Service: What Are the Implications for the Police in England and Wales?

Williams, Emma and Sondhi, Arun (2022). A Narrative Review of the Literature on the Recruitment of Younger Police Officers in Age and in Service: What Are the Implications for the Police in England and Wales? Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paac001

Abstract

The Police Uplift Programme in England and Wales aims to recruit more than 20,000 new police officers into the service. There is little known about the potential consequences associated with a large-scale recruitment drive and the effect of introducing a younger cohort of officers into the ranks of the police. This article is based on a narrative review of 2,110 English-language titles including grey literature exploring the implications for the police who are younger in age and service workforce profile. Titles were identified through electronic and handsearching methods. Fifty-nine titles were assessed for inclusion, of which 48 were subject to a full-text review. The majority of papers were from North America. Three themes were identified from the review: (1) issues related to cultural considerations including younger officers’ preference for transparent and linear relationships and highlighting an emphasis on public service; (2) well-being and work–life balance considerations; and (3) harnessing the skill base through effective recruitment and retention practices. The findings suggest that police forces can create a narrative for new recruits as adult learners committed to public service combined with enhanced leadership styles that prioritize teamwork, transparency, and personal development.

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