Rebuilding the Walls? The Impact of Police Pre-Entry Physical Ability Tests on Female Applicants

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Prenzler, Timothy
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1996
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In the comedy movie Copl/2 a hard bitten detective played by Burt Reynolds pursues a suspect who is fleeing on foot. The detective follows in a car until the suspect climbs over a high fence and disappears. The overweight and lazy detective clambers out of the car and makes a half-hearted attempt to scale the fence, but his paunch gets in the way. He then gets back in the car and drives straight through the fence and a second fence before cornering the suspect. The sequence provides some light humour, but it also dramatises the serious issue of police recruitment criteria and fitness policies. In caricature, the episode demonstrates the hypocrisy of stringent physical entry requirements which are not maintained following training, but which exclude many applicants who do not fit the traditional police stereotype of male athleticism.

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Current Issues in Criminal Justice
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Criminology
Sociology
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