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Concept: Constable


A geographically-resolved, multi-level Bayesian model is used to analyze the data presented in the U.S. Police-Shooting Database (USPSD) in order to investigate the extent of racial bias in the shooting of American civilians by police officers in recent years. In contrast to previous work that relied on the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports that were constructed from self-reported cases of police-involved homicide, this data set is less likely to be biased by police reporting practices. County-specific relative risk outcomes of being shot by police are estimated as a function of the interaction of: 1) whether suspects/civilians were armed or unarmed, and 2) the race/ethnicity of the suspects/civilians. The results provide evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being {black, unarmed, and shot by police} is about 3.49 times the probability of being {white, unarmed, and shot by police} on average. Furthermore, the results of multi-level modeling show that there exists significant heterogeneity across counties in the extent of racial bias in police shootings, with some counties showing relative risk ratios of 20 to 1 or more. Finally, analysis of police shooting data as a function of county-level predictors suggests that racial bias in police shootings is most likely to emerge in police departments in larger metropolitan counties with low median incomes and a sizable portion of black residents, especially when there is high financial inequality in that county. There is no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.

Concepts: Constable, White American, Bayes factor, Relative risk, Crime, Scientific method, Police, United States


Policing is generally considered a high-risk profession for the development of mental health problems, but this assumption lacks empirical evidence. Research question of the present study is to what extent mental health disturbances, such as (very) severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and hostility are more prevalent among police officers than among other occupational groups.

Concepts: Police officer, Empirical research, Mental disorder, Constable, Research, Epidemiology, Police, Psychology


Social justice issues remain some of the most pressing problems in the United States. One aspect of social justice involves the differential treatment of demographic groups in the criminal justice system. While data consistently show that Blacks and Hispanics are often treated differently than Whites, one understudied aspect of these disparities is how police officers' assessments of suspects' size affects their decisions. Using over 3 million cases from the New York Police Department (NYPD) Stop, Question, and Frisk (SQF) Database, 2006-2013, this study is the first to explore suspects' race, perceived size, and police treatment. Results indicate that tall and heavy black and Hispanic men are at the greatest risk for frisk or search. Tall and heavy suspects are at increased risk for experiencing police force, with black and Hispanic men being more likely to experience force than white men across size categories.

Concepts: White American, Constable, Hispanic and Latino Americans, United States, White people, Crime, Criminal justice, Police


Objectives. We surveyed young men on their experiences of police encounters and subsequent mental health. Methods. Between September 2012 and March 2013, we conducted a population-based telephone survey of 1261 young men aged 18 to 26 years in New York City. Respondents reported how many times they were approached by New York Police Department officers, what these encounters entailed, any trauma they attributed to the stops, and their overall anxiety. We analyzed data using cross-sectional regressions. Results. Participants who reported more police contact also reported more trauma and anxiety symptoms, associations tied to how many stops they reported, the intrusiveness of the encounters, and their perceptions of police fairness. Conclusions. The intensity of respondent experiences and their associated health risks raise serious concerns, suggesting a need to reevaluate officer interactions with the public. Less invasive tactics are needed for suspects who may display mental health symptoms and to reduce any psychological harms to individuals stopped. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 16, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302046).

Concepts: Public safety, Legal professions, Polizeiwissenschaft, Constable, Police, London, New York City, Psychology


The perceived threat of HIV transmission through spitting and biting is evidenced by the increasing use of “spit hoods” by Police Forces in the UK. In addition, a draft parliamentary bill has called for increased penalties for assaults on emergency workers, citing the risk of communicable disease transmission as one justification. We aimed to review literature relating to the risk of HIV transmission through biting or spitting.

Concepts: Constable, Medicine, AIDS, Infectious disease, HIV, United Kingdom, Epidemiology, Tuberculosis


An online survey gathered the experiences and views of 394 police officers (from England and Wales) regarding autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Just 42 % of officers were satisfied with how they had worked with individuals with ASD and reasons for this varied. Although officers acknowledged the need for adjustments, organisational/time constraints were cited as barriers. Whilst 37 % of officers had received training on ASD, a need for training tailored to policing roles (e.g., frontline officers, detectives) was identified. Police responses are discussed with respect to the experiences of the ASD community (31 adults with ASD, 49 parents), who were largely dissatisfied with their experience of the police and echoed the need for police training on ASD.

Concepts: London, Pervasive developmental disorder, Constable, The Police, Autism spectrum, Asperger syndrome, Autism, Police


Law and order enforcement tasks may expose special force police officers to significant psychosocial risk factors. The aim of this work is to investigate the relationship between job stress and the presence of mental health symptoms while controlling sociodemographical, occupational and personality variables in special force police officers.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Force, Special police, Constable, Stress, Special constable, Occupational health psychology, Police


In almost all states in the United States, to carry a concealed handgun legally requires a permit from the police. Many states have changed from may-issue laws (where the local police chief has discretion about to whom to issue a license) to shall-issue laws (where the police chief must issue a permit if the applicant passes a computerized federal background check). Studies conflict on the effect on crime. None considered the situation in may-issue states when police used discretion and refused to issue a permit. We provide suggestive evidence from a December 2013 survey of police chiefs in Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns. Of the 121 responding police chiefs, a large majority favored retaining police discretion. Chiefs issued few discretionary denials - median 2 per year, citing providing false information, a history of assault (often domestic violence), a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or of mental-health issues as the most common reasons for denial.Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 16 April 2015; doi:10.1057/jphp.2015.11.

Concepts: Law of the United States, U.S. state, Chief of police, Alcoholism, Universal health care, Constable, Domestic violence, United States


Previous research indicates that criminalization of sex work is associated with harms among sex workers. In 2013, the Vancouver Police Department changed their sex work policy to no longer target sex workers while continuing to target clients and third parties in an effort to increase the safety of sex workers (similar to “end-demand sex work” approaches being adopted in a number of countries globally). We sought to investigate the trends and correlates of rushing negotiations with clients due to police presence among 359 sex workers who use drugs in Vancouver before and after the guideline change. Data were derived from three prospective cohort studies of people who use drugs in Vancouver between 2008 and 2014. We used sex-stratified multivariable generalized estimating equation models. The crude percentages of sex workers who use drugs reporting rushing client negotiations changed from 8.9% before the guideline change to 14.8% after the guideline change among 259 women, and from 8.6 to 7.1% among 100 men. In multivariable analyses, there was a significant increase in reports of rushing client negotiation after the guideline change among women (p = 0.04). Other variables that were independently associated with increased odds of rushing client negotiation included experiencing client-perpetrated violence (among both men and women) and non-heterosexual orientation (among women) (all p < 0.05). These findings indicate that despite the policing guideline change, rushed client negotiation due to police presence appeared to have increased among our sample of female sex workers who use drugs. It was also associated with client-perpetrated violence and other markers of vulnerability. These findings lend further evidence that criminalizing the purchase of sexual services does not protect the health and safety of sex workers.

Concepts: The Vancouver Voice, Sex worker, Constable, Vancouver Police Department, Police, Prostitution, Vancouver, Crime


In Vancouver, Canada, there has been a continuous shift in the policing of sex work away from arresting sex workers, which led to the implementation of a policing strategy that explicitly prioritised the safety of sex workers and continued to target sex workers' clients. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 cisgender and five transgender women street-based sex workers about their working conditions. Data were analysed thematically and by drawing on concepts of structural stigma and vulnerability. Our results indicated that despite police rhetoric of prioritising the safety of sex workers, participants were denied their citizenship rights for police protection by virtue of their ‘risky’ occupation and were thus responsiblised for sex work related violence. Our findings further suggest that sex workers' interactions with neighbourhood residents were predominantly shaped by a discourse of sex workers as a ‘risky’ presence in the urban landscape and police took swift action in removing sex workers in the case of complaints. This study highlights that intersecting regimes of stigmatisation and criminalisation continued to undermine sex workers citizenship rights to police protection and legal recourse and perpetuated labour conditions that render sex workers at increased risk for violence and poor health.

Concepts: Sexual assault, Public safety, Constable, Law, Crime, Police, Security