How does joining the police affect a candidate's social identity and social network?

In Collaboration With

Lancashire Constabulary

Principal Researcher

Gareth Stubbs

Level of Research


Project Start Date

October 2016

Research Context

​Following some research in Lancashire that indicated that prospective police recruits who know police officers were more successful in the recruitment process, this research was designed to understand why. When recruits join the police, there is a period of assimilation as they 'become' police. This period may affect social networks and social support frameworks that they have previously relied on. What does this change look like, and what does it mean for police recruitment, their wellbeing, and their identities?

Research Methodology

​This research will follow a cohort of recruits through their probationary period. It will map their social networks, and the level of contact with them, together with indicators of identity change, and physical and mental health. The tools will be drawn from social psychology (adapted SONAR Survey) and have previously been used in the analysis of identity change in therapeutic communities during addiction rehabilitation.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

June 2022
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