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A study on occupational stressors among civil police officers of a subdivision of Thrissur district

Joe Abraham, John George T, Vidhu M Joshy, Jenyz M Mundodan.


Background: Occupational stress among police officers is an extensive but neglected issue due to number of negative consequences on an individual as well as the police department. Policing is a highly demanding work environment, with constant threat to life, uncertainty at work, encounters, political pressure, exposure to violence, and death.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to identify the occupation-related stressors faced by civil police officers in a subdivision in Thrissur.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among civil police officers in Irinjalakuda subdivision, Kerala, from January 2017 to October 2018. The study population consisted of all civil police officers from the subdivision. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire, which included sociodemographic variables and self-reported physical morbidities. Occupational stressors were measured using operational and organizational police stress Questionnaire. The data obtained was coded, entered in Microsoft Excel sheet and analyzed using the statistical software, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version-23).

Results: Nearly three-fourths of the participants were males and the mean age of the participants was 39.94 ± 7.067 years. Eight operational stressors were found to have a median value above four, while a median of five organizational stressors was found to be above four. “Fatigue” and “friends/family feel the stigma associated with job” were the most commonly quoted operational stressors while “staff shortages” and “bureaucratic red tape” were the most commonly quoted organizational stressors.

Conclusion: Modifications such as sharing work and allotting fixed duty hours should be done to avoid stress and its adverse effects. Stress management training can be given at regular intervals to improve competency and enhance coping skills.

Key words: Law Enforcement; Operational Stress; Organizational Stress; Police; Workplace

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