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Interaction Between Work and Personal Life: Experiences of Police Officers in the North West Province

NCJ Number
Acta Criminologica Volume: 20 Issue: 4 Dated: 2007 Pages: 37-54
E. Sekwena; K. Mostert; L. Wentzel
Date Published
18 pages
The objective of this study was to use a qualitative approach in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of how police officers in the North West province experienced the interaction between their work and family lives.
Police reported experiencing their work as stressful, in that it interfered negatively with their lives and also reported certain health implications. On the other hand, they experienced some aspects of their personal lives, such as household duties and family responsibilities as interfering with their work. Also, police regarded communication, receiving support from the spouse or partner, participating in activities, spending less time with work colleagues outside the work environment, viewing their work in a positive manner, and actively separating work life from home life, as good mechanisms or strategies employed to cope with the interaction they experienced between their work and personal life. Since 1993, the traditional view of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has changed from that of crime fighters to that of community policing, becoming more service oriented. This model brings about change in the definition of policing which could have a profound effect on the interaction between work and personal life. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how police officers experience the interaction between their work and personal lives. The main objective of this study was to determine the interaction between work and personal life as experienced by police officers in the North West Province. Unstructured interviews are conducted with 10 male and female police officers in police stations based in the Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp areas. Tables, bibliography