This research aims to explore what motivates and entices police officers into the role of armed policing by exploring culture and perceptions of and within armed units. It will also seek to explore what aspects of armed policing deter individuals from taking on this role and why some individuals opt to pursue one specialist career path over another. By applying aspects of police culture to the role of armed policing and exploring how armed officers perceive their role as well as how their unarmed colleagues perceive them, the aim is to identify motivations and barriers to recruitment into firearms units, paying particular attention to the under-representation of females.
It is intended that a survey will be completed by both armed and unarmed officers nationally, with greater detail coming from semi-structured interviews of serving firearms officers as to their experiences. It is also possible that unarmed officers and senior managers may be interviewed to better explore their perceptions of the role and the individual undertaking it.The sample size and analytical techniques are not yet known at this stage of the project.