Together the authors in this issue of the Nordic Journal of Studies in Policing (NJSP) present new knowledge and research that range from the motivation to join the police service to how police work is intended to work and how the police actually works.
The opening article investigates how the intent (a magic «silver bullet») behind a specific police method actually works in practice (Dahl & Lomell, 2016). The findings, on one hand, show that the DNA reform has contributed to higher detection rates in volume crime when biological traces are ensured and a profile is developed. At the same time, cases where the police submit requests for analysis of biological evidence include volume crime only to a small extent. The results further show that the potential for using DNA to solve cases where the offender is unknown at the time of the police report can be better utilised. Beyond this, the survey yields insight into some of the conditions that underlie police register research: for example, with regard to what the quality of data can and cannot tell us.
The survey of police bachelor students’ motives for applying for police education utilises an ethical entry (Hoel & Christensen, 2016). The findings show that the wish and choice to become a member of the police service seems to come from both earlier life experiences, experiences from their own upbringing as well as their personal and professional aspirations. The authors interpret their main finding, that the students’ basic desire «to give of themselves and get something meaningful back», as a moral issue. The authors discuss their interpretation against previous ways of understanding and explaining similar findings. The authors also provide suggestions to how such virtue ethical moral justifications can be used in police education, for example by recognising students’ experiences as part of their police education, broadening students’ horizons through empirical and theoretical issues as well as to utilise dialogic learning methods.
The survey of the Norwegian city of Bergen provides insight into how cooperation regarding security governance is practiced (Nøkleberg, 2016). The investigation is based on pluralized security governance, the concepts of nodal governance, state anchored pluralism and conducted with a network analysis. The results show that the experience of security governance being pluralised not is shared by all actors in the network. The author explain the unused potential for pluralized security governance and cooperation with mentality (in this context a term from nodal governance) among the actors (proactive and reactive). The degree of cooperation regarding security governance may also have been influenced by differences in basic assumptions of the participating actors (self-interest versus social responsibility).
The NJSP is now in the fortunate situation that a larger amount of articles are being submitted from the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. As a result of this, we hope to see more cross-Nordic and cross-Scandinavian police research (cf. Holmberg, 2014). The shared experiences of police reform may be an opportunity for presenting precisely such cross-national projects. Another way to link researchers from the Nordic and Scandinavian countries together on the topics addressed by the NJSP is providing reviews of relevant scientific literature and studies. First up is a review of the Swedish PhD thesis «Becoming a Police Officer: From the Academy to Life on the Street» (Petersson, 2015) written by Gundhus (2016). The editorial team wish to thank Johanne Yttri Dahl for her time and devotion when serving as co-editor during 2015.