Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 91–101 | Cite as

Recent Police Recruits’ Existing Knowledge of the Police and Organisational Commitment

  • Fran Boag-MunroeEmail author


In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to police officers’ organisational commitment. This research paper contributes to this growing body of knowledge by investigating commitment amongst recent police recruits. The paper examines the extent to which new recruits’ existing knowledge of the police service prior to becoming an officer predicts organisational commitment, and different possible sources of this pre-entry knowledge. Using a sample of 236 recent police recruits in England and Wales, the study observed a significant relationship between recent recruits’ existing knowledge of the police service and their organisational commitment. Prior police work experience (both paid and voluntary) significantly predicted existing knowledge of the police service, and in turn organisational commitment. In comparison, pre-entry police training did not predict existing knowledge of the police service, and moreover was found to negatively predict organisational commitment. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to proposed changes to recruitment and entry routes into policing in England and Wales.


Organisational commitment Pre-entry knowledge Police recruitment Pre-join training Work experience 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Police Federation of England and Wales, Federation HouseLeatherheadUK

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