‘Bad, sad and angry’: Responses of the SAPS leadership to the dangers of policing

Responses of the SAPS Leadership to the Dangers of Policing





Danger is an integral part of the fabric of South African society. Yearly statistics regularly underscore the extent of danger experienced through reported acts of violence. As generally office bound executives, senior police officers rarely encounter this violence to the same extent as frontline officers.2 These police leaders are ultimately responsible for the strategies and operations employed to prevent police exposure to such dangers. Little research, however, has examined how the senior personnel react and respond to such danger. In this discussion, perceptions of senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officials to the dangers of police work are laid bare. How danger is conceptualised at such senior levels has relevance in initial examinations of why the SAPS may police in the manner in which they do. 


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Author Biography

Gráinne Perkins, Seattle University

Dr Gráinne Perkins is the former Interim Director of Police Accountability for the Seattle Police Department in the United States and is an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University. Her professional experience, spanning three continents, working within three different police agencies, is complemented with sustained criminological research and publications on occupational and organisational aspects of policing, including police suicide, memorialisation in policing and body-worn cameras. Her research was awarded the Homicide Studies, 2019 Richard Block Award for a PhD in Criminology from the University of Cape Town South Africa. She is currently writing a book entitled, Danger in Police Culture: Perspectives from South Africa, which is due to be published by Emerald Publishers in early 2023. 






Research articles