The Critical Reflection Of The Fitzgerald Era (Inquiry) And How It Has Impacted On Women In Policing Today

1102 words - 5 pages

Discrimination and injustice is still prevalent when considering gender equality around the world, however the amount of women, particularly in Queensland policing roles has increased, post Fitzgerald Inquiry (Oxfam 2005; Wimshirst 1995, 3; Prenzler and Drew 2013, 460). According to the Queensland Police Service (QPS, 2014), equal opportunity and employment is what reflects the service as well as their values for diversity. Until the mid 1980s, those who served for the QPS were predominantly males however the implementation of equity legislation formed from the Fitzgerald inquiry introduced more women than ever before into policing roles. The target was set so that at least 20% of intakes in ...view middle of the document...

It is also know that female officers are less likely to be sympathetic towards sexual assault crimes, which is not a bad thing. Archbold and Moses (2012) state that an increase in female police officers in the future will most likely normalise perceptions of them among male colleagues in policing. According to a study performed by Johns (1979), one person stated that they believe women were more likely to reason rather than threaten. There are many advantages to employing women in policing jobs. This backs up the argument that the Fitzgerald inquiry made a positive impact on gender equity within the policing work force. Reforms from the inquiry led to many discriminatory barriers being removed (Prenzler and Drew 2012, 459). From the years 1998 to 2009, the QPS Statistical reviews table’s shows that the amounts of female constables, non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers increased where as the male statistics decreased (Prenzler and Drew 2013, 464). This statistical evidence further backs up the argument that the Fitzgerald inquiry had some impact on gender equity within policing roles. Not only has gender equity been recognised in policing since the Fitzgerald inquiry but also the advantages that women have brought with them that has helped the policing community.

Women in Policing and Communication

Since entering a male dominated workplace, women have had to prove themselves to the community and their peers that they can perform just as well, if not better than males. According to Christie (1996) many have observed that male and female officers bring differences to policing values and perceptions that tend to influence the way they work. According to data from the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC), the numbers of complaints from the community received by the CJC from 1992-1995 were predominately to do with male officers (Brereton, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2014). It is then noted that female officers rely predominantly on communication skills and are less likely to be aggravated by disobedient community members. According to Brereton (2014), most complaints are due to a misunderstanding of the policies and procedures the law has put in place. Furthermore, the Ohio State University (2010) Women are the typical experts at rapport talk, which is ideal when communicating to a suspect or...

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