Investigating death: The emotional and cultural challenges for police

Carpenter, Belinda, Tait, Gordon, Quadrelli, Carol, & Thompson, Ian (2016) Investigating death: The emotional and cultural challenges for police. Policing and Society, 26(6), pp. 698-712.

View at publisher


The over-representation of vulnerable populations within the criminal justice system, and the role of police in perpetuating this, has long been a topic of discussion in criminology. What is less discussed is the way in which non-criminal investigations by police, in areas like a death investigation, may similarly disadvantage and discriminate against vulnerable populations. In Australia, as elsewhere, it is police who are responsible for investigating both suspicious and violent deaths like homicide as well as non-suspicious, violent deaths like accidents and suicides. Police are also the agents tasked with investigating deaths which are neither violent nor suspicious but occur outside hospitals and other care facilities. This paper, part of a larger funded Australian research project focusing on the ways in which cultural and religious differences are dealt with during the death investigation process, reports on how police describe – or are described by others – during their role in a non-suspicious death investigation, and the challenges that such investigations raise for police and policing. The employment of police liaison officers is discussed as one response to the difficulty of policing cultural and religious difference with variable results.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

17 since deposited on 13 Mar 2015
13 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 82481
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: death, police, emotion, culture, religion
DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2015.1016024
ISSN: 1477-2728
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Policing and Society, 09 March 2015,
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2015 00:25
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2016 17:06

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page