Exploring the delivery of officer safety training: a case study

2018-05-15T12:44:36Z (GMT) by Christopher Cushion
The training of police arrest and self-defence skills (ASDS), known as officer safety training (OST) in the UK, is assumed to produce highly skilled practitioners in the use of force. However, little is known about the nature and effectiveness of such training. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence concerning the structure and organization of OST, to begin a discussion about the effectiveness of training and to open up avenues for the development of training. Data were collected using a case study approach utilizing participant observation, interviews, and time-on-task analysis. Data suggested instructor-centric training based on behavioural education ideology where officers spent at least 50% of the time passive. Practice activities were organized without an agreed or consistent strategy that produced a curriculum delivered in a disjointed fashion resulting in unrealistic training that had limited officer engagement. The training also highlighted issues related to women officers with a ‘hidden curriculum’ reinforcing notions of women officers as different, inferior and objectified. The findings highlight a need to maximize practice time-on-task, which includes reality-based practice under pressure, and to review instructor-training provision, to ensure that instructors and those responsible for training are abreast of the latest developments in the training of ASDS, and more innovative pedagogy for the delivery of such training.