Capturing Real Time Decisions and Their Supporting Rationale in High Risk Policing Environments

Masters Thesis

Whitnall, Mark. 2021. Capturing Real Time Decisions and Their Supporting Rationale in High Risk Policing Environments. Masters Thesis Master of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland.

Capturing Real Time Decisions and Their Supporting Rationale in High Risk Policing Environments

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorWhitnall, Mark
1. FirstProf Marcus Harmes
2. SecondDr Sophia Imran
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Professional Studies
Number of Pages128
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Despite the vast research on decision making in critical incidents, little is known about the recording of decisions made in time constrained and dynamic policing environments. The coronial inquest into the Lindt Cafe siege prompted unprecedented levels of scrutiny into the key decisions made by police commanders in resolving uncertain and complex incidents. Decision capture was identified as an organisational deficiency that transcends most policing jurisdictions in applying an effective structure or approach to enable officers to accurately record their decisions and supporting rationale in high tempo operating environments. This study examines tactical level commanders in an Australian policing jurisdiction to understand the current approaches to decision capture and the influences that impact on the timely and accurate recording of decision information. Drawing on semi-structured interview data from nine police officers, the findings identified a shift from handwritten artefacts towards technological solutions such as body worn cameras and police radio networks to record their decisions. This analysis determined that there was no organisational structure to this recording process and decision information was limited and unlikely to withstand scrutiny if critically reviewed. Based on these findings, the study proposes a concept of a three-tiered decision support mechanism that may assist to provide capacity to improve organisation effectiveness in responsive decision capture.

KeywordsDecision Capture, Recording Decisions
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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