Police Team Spirit Behind Bad Attitude

There is a down-side to the team spirit in the police force, which contributes to a patronising attitude to women, immigrants and homosexuals, according to a study commissioned by the national police commissioner.

The study emphasises that team spirit can be something positive, which can strengthen cooperation and function as a safety valve for police officers who are working in threatening and stressful situations. But the negative sides of this spirit is criticised, and compared to an honour culture in the American south which "is close to Ku Klux Klan".

In a comment to the study, the police commissioner tells the daily newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet is critical: "It does not tell us how wide spread the negative team spirit is, nor how we ought to deal with it."

The study was ordered after an incident in the beginning of the year in Rosengård, which is a suburb of Malmö where many immigrants live. After a period of unrest in the suburb, a police unit was caught on camera expressing racist views about some of the youth in the area. The author of the study is professor Charles Westin at Stockholm University.

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