“After god is police”: lived experiences of rural police officers in Trinidad and Tobago

Cleghorn, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-1998-7568, Harry, C. and Cummings, C., 2024. “After god is police”: lived experiences of rural police officers in Trinidad and Tobago. Policing: An International Journal. ISSN 1363-951X

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Purpose: In Trinidad and Tobago, there is significant reliance on the traditional and centralized police service to engage in crime response and suppression in urban and rural areas. In this regard, policing scholarship has largely focused on the impact of policing within urban areas, producing a gap in knowledge on what policing rural spaces entails. Despite this, there is some understanding that policing rural spaces can engender diverse challenges and calls for variability in policing strategies. The current study examines the lived experiences of police officers stationed in rural communities in Trinidad and Tobago.

Design/methodology/approach: Using the descriptive phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven police officers stationed in rural communities throughout the country.

Findings: Interviewees narrated the importance of community dynamics and community-specific needs in shaping their roles and functions when operating in and serving these communities. Three major themes were identified: (1) network activity in policing; (2) engagement in localistic and service-oriented approaches and (3) community-specific challenges.

Originality/value: The findings suggest that while there is an emphasis on traditional law enforcement responsibilities, in the rural context, police responsibilities and duties are constantly being redefined, reframed and broadened to meet the contextual community and geographic-specific diversities and demands.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Policing: An International Journal
Creators: Cleghorn, L., Harry, C. and Cummings, C.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 26 April 2024
ISSN: 1363-951X
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 30 Apr 2024 11:38
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 17:56
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/51370

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