Understanding the dynamics of aggressive non-compliance in police officer interactions with the public: Examining the reaction to the use of force against police officers

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Leeds

In Collaboration With

Lincolnshire Police

Principal Researcher

Lee Johnson

Level of Research


Project Start Date

October 2011

Research Context

​This research study has three main aims that will be explored throughout.


The first of these is to study police interactions with the public especially where there is a noticeable escalation towards a violent confrontation but also those where the incident is de-escalated. The study analyses the reasons why people display aggressive non-compliance towards police officers and will look at this in the context of the modern role of the police officer and the application of law and order in frontline policing.


The research will also draw a focus on whether the characteristics and actions of police officers themselves have an impact on the outcome of incidents.


The final aim of the study analyses whether or not there has been a shift in the way in which police officers respond to aggressive non-compliance. This aim considers whether police officers display different reactions to having force used against them and the extent to which police officers have different acceptable limits at which point they will make an arrest for offences related to this.

Research Methodology

​The research utilises a mixed methodology approach to study the aims.

The first was to obtain quantitative data on the level of assaults in Lincolnshire Police. The main methodology was the observation of police incidents and the generation of case studies and points of analysis. The third method used was interviews with serving police officers, considering their experiences of being assaulted and what factors they deem as important in explaining how incidents escalate

Each of these methods was then drawn together and key points picked out that met theoretical themes and generated a better understanding of the escalation of incidents towards aggressive non-compliance.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

December 2018
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