20 May 2017

Craig Needles and Lesley Bikos Discuss RCMP and Police Culture

London, Ontario

Podcast

AM980 Craig Needles

Craig Needles and Lesley Bikos Discuss RCMP and Police Culture

Craig Needles
AM980
About The Publication

A radio interview with Craig Needles discussing my Globe and Mail commentary piece.

17 May 2017

It’s not just the RCMP: Police culture is toxic

Toronto, ON

Commentary

Globe and Mail Lesley Bikos

It’s not just the RCMP: Police culture is toxic

Lesley Bikos
Globe and Mail
About The Publication

The culture of policing was originally built on white, traditionally masculine, conservative norms, and is based on hyper-masculinity, loyalty and, above all, silence. There have been commissions, gender audits, independent reviews, academic studies, lawsuits, whistle-blowing memoirs, public complaints and media coverage of the ills of the police culture for decades. The internal issues of harassment, discrimination, abuse of power and corruption have been known by police administrations and government bodies in Canada for a long time. Yet, little about the culture has changed in any meaningful way. I say this from my own experiences in policing, but, much more importantly, from the 77 in-depth interviews across 23 police services I have conducted thus far in my current nationwide study on police officers’ experiences of police culture.

07 Apr 2017

Justice Tulloch: Independent Police Oversight Review

London, Ontario

Podcast

AM980 Craig Needles

Justice Tulloch: Independent Police Oversight Review

Craig Needles
AM980
About The Publication

My thoughts on how Justice Tulloch’s report on Ontario police oversight is relevant for police culture reform. Starts at 40 minutes in.

08 Mar 2017

‘Is it within you?’: VPD launches drive to recruit more women

British Columbia


CBC Jane Armstrong

‘Is it within you?’: VPD launches drive to recruit more women

Jane Armstrong
CBC
04 Feb 2017

‘This is going on all across our country,’ says researcher in wake of police officer resignation

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun

Yolande Cole

‘This is going on all across our country,’ says researcher in wake of police officer resignation

Yolande Cole
About The Publication

A researcher studying police culture across the country says she has heard very similar stories to the one shared by a Calgary police officer during a public resignation this week.

Lesley Bikos, a PhD candidate in sociology at Western University, said she wasn’t surprised to hear of Const. Jen Ward’s resignation at a Calgary Police Commission meeting Tuesday. The 14-year veteran of the service cited ongoing bullying and harassment within the workplace when she read her resignation letter to commission members, including Calgary’s police chief.

“This is going on all across our country,” said Bikos.

Bikos, a former police officer, is interviewing male and female officers as part of a nation-wide study, and has talked to more than 60 members from about 20 police services.

She said during those interviews she has heard stories of sexual harassment, workplace harassment, bullying and of “silence and loyalty” within police culture.

“For many, they express that there’s no point in coming forward,” Bikos said.

06 Feb 2017

Craig Needles Show AM980: Podcast “Police chief meets with sexual assault advocacy groups, issues apology”

London, Ontario

Podcast

AM980

Craig Needles Show AM980: Podcast “Police chief meets with sexual assault advocacy groups, issues apology”

AM980
About The Publication

Interview with Craig Needles about London Police Service’s handling of the 30% unfounded sexual assault cases. Discuss police culture, accountability, and my thoughts on next steps for Chief Pare. Chief Pare is interviewed just prior to my interview.

06 Feb 2017

Police chief meets with sexual assault advocacy groups, issues apology

London, Ontario

Global News

AM980 Liny Lamberlink

Police chief meets with sexual assault advocacy groups, issues apology

Liny Lamberlink
AM980
About The Publication

Sexual Assault Centre London is crediting London Police for taking a “very proactive” approach in improving how they handle complaints of sexual assault, after a damning report by the Globe and Mail found they’ve dismissed one in three sexual assault cases as baseless allegations.
“The results of 30 per cent doesn’t mean necessarily that they have been dismissed by the police. We follow a model that is victim-centric, in terms of allowing them to continue to control the process. And there are those cases where some victims just want the incident reported, [and] don’t want an investigation,” Pare said.

But former police officer and sociology doctoral candidate at Western University Lesley Bikos says that the first point of contact with a front line officer has huge influence on how far someone will take their report.

“We have to understand that although I agree the criminal justice system as a whole needs help with this, the police are the first contact. They’re the gateway.” Bikos said it’s “inappropriate” to blame the numbers on a matter of coding alone, and stressed the importance of transparency throughout the course of the review.

08 Dec 2016

Skip Carding, try walking beat, academic says

London, Ontario

The London Free Press

London Free Press Jennifer O'Brien

Skip Carding, try walking beat, academic says

Jennifer O'Brien
London Free Press
About The Publication

“If we were to shift to more community-based policing, we’d be able to forge more lasting relationships with communities in need of assistance,” said Lesley Bikos, now a PhD candidate in sociology with a focus on policing culture.

“Police would build better relationships built on trust that would get them the intelligence-gathering they think that carding is gathering,” she said, adding “the problem with unlawful carding is you have a one-time interaction with a person who now feels violated and that relationship is severed.”

As an officer, Bikos said she found carding useful to gather information. She said she sympathizes with officers on the street who feel besieged by calls to stop a practice they believe helps stop crime, but carding isn’t worth the social cost, especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods where research shows people want to help police but not if they don’t trust them.

15 Nov 2016

Podcast: More on that damning gender audit of the Ottawa Police we told you about yesterday

CANADA

CBC Radio

CBCMedia Alan Neil

Podcast: More on that damning gender audit of the Ottawa Police we told you about yesterday

Alan Neil
CBCMedia
About The Publication

Listen to the podcast here. 

It seems Ottawa officers are not alone in their challenges. We heard from a researcher who’s been talking to women officers in other parts of the province about their challenges.

06 Oct 2016

Officer-turned-researcher explores police culture

LONDON - CANADA

Western News

MediaWestern News Adela Talbot

Officer-turned-researcher explores police culture

Adela Talbot
MediaWestern News
About The Publication

Originally Published in Western News 

“I’m not anti-police; I’m pro-police. The institution itself needs reform and the officers working within it are struggling in many ways,” said Lesley Bikos, a Sociology PhD student at Western. “The whole point has always been advocacy on behalf of police officers, so they can have better working conditions, so they can have better lives – both on and off duty.”

Bikos, who spent more than four years with the London Police Service (LPS) before starting her academic career, recently published a paper titled “I Took the Blue Pill”: The Effect of the Hegemonic Masculine Police Culture on Canadian Policewomen’s Identities.

18 Sep 2016

London force meets 2016 recruiting diversity goal, but cultural change will take time, researcher says

LONDON - CANADA

London Free Press

London Free PressMedia Jennifer O'Brien

London force meets 2016 recruiting diversity goal, but cultural change will take time, researcher says

Jennifer O'Brien
London Free PressMedia
About The Publication

Originally published in the London Free Press 

“The problem is that if you don’t change the culture, you have a hard time retaining women who don’t assimilate into that culture, or you have women who do assimilate outwardly but experience internal conflicts, or you have situations where women are reproducing the culture themselves,” Bikos said.

“It’s the exact same scenario” with hiring “visibly diverse” officers, she said.

The hiring is important, “but not the whole story.”

01 Sep 2016

Podcast: CBC Ontario Morning

CANADA

CBC Ontario Morning

CBCMedia

Podcast: CBC Ontario Morning

CBCMedia
About The Publication

Listen to the podcast here. (11 minutes in) 

Originally aired on CBC Ontario Morning.

01 Sep 2016

Podcast: Female Officers being sexually harrassed by their Male counterparts

CANADA

Roy Green Show

MediaRoy Green Show Roy Green

Podcast: Female Officers being sexually harrassed by their Male counterparts

Roy Green
MediaRoy Green Show
About The Publication

Listen to the Podcast here. Originally Aired on the Roy Green Show.

Even though the numbers of women entering Canadian police services are growing, they are no match for the existing ‘old boys’ network, according to Western University sociology Ph.D candidate Lesley Bikos.

Atoya Montague, RCMP civilian employee, with highest possible security clearance. Member of the group of women police officers and police service employees speaking on the program about ongoing sexual abuse, harassment and assault within Canada’s police services.

Lesley Bikos and Atoya Montague join us today on the Roy Green Show.

01 Sep 2016

Male police culture puts women at a disadvantage, study suggests

CANADA

CBC News

CBCMedia Colin Butler

Male police culture puts women at a disadvantage, study suggests

Colin Butler
CBCMedia
About The Publication

Originally published on CBC.ca. 

“Policing is much more socially geared these days and we need to shift that culture from that reactive physical based policing to a more community collaborative policing and I think that would be much more successful in today’s society for the officers and for the public.”

Bikos said she plans to broaden her research with a new study. She wants to look at the experience of male and female officers both good and bad to better their lives as officers.

01 Sep 2016

Female Ontario cops tell researcher that boys’ club still persists

TORONTO - CANADA

The Toronto Star

MediaToronto Star Wendy Gillis

Female Ontario cops tell researcher that boys’ club still persists

Wendy Gillis
MediaToronto Star
About The Publication

Originally published in the Toronto Star. 

“What came through strongly in these interviews is that the majority of these women felt they could not speak out loud,” Bikos told the Star in an interview about her master’s thesis research paper, I Took the Blue Pill: The Effect of Hegemonic Masculine Police Culture on Canadian Policewomen’s Identities.

“Through me, they can tell the truth . . . They can do it in a safe way, that’s the key. Because anybody who is pushing against the policing institution that works there is likely going to experience professional and personal ostracization.”

 Bikos, a former member of the London Police Service, left policing and returned to university to pursue an undergraduate then master’s degree in sociology, focusing on policing issues.
01 Sep 2016

More participants sought for study about the barriers to women in policing

LONDON - CANADA

London Free Press

London Free PressMedia Jennifer O'Brien

More participants sought for study about the barriers to women in policing

Jennifer O'Brien
London Free PressMedia
About The Publication

Originally published in the London Free Press 

“I feel honoured and I feel really grateful they trust me with their stories and their experiences. I’m dedicated to taking this all the way. I really want this research to expose the issues they are facing so we can enact some positive policy changes.”

Now working on her doctorate in sociology, Bikos’s paper on women and policing found that despite unprecedented numbers of female officers, police services still espouse a hyper-masculine, paramilitary culture that demands loyalty, crushes dissent and plays out in policy, promotions, sexual jokes and innuendo.

30 Aug 2016

Growing number of women on Canadian police forces no match for ‘old boys’ club,’ researcher finds

CANADA

National Post

MediaNational Post Jennifer O'Brien

Growing number of women on Canadian police forces no match for ‘old boys’ club,’ researcher finds

Jennifer O'Brien
MediaNational Post
About The Publication

Originally published in the National Post.

“Not all officers fit the model of the bulging muscle hero running down criminals in the street. We need to shift the way we see policing in our culture. We need officers of all skills, who are high in empathy and low on ego, who are educated before they join and continue that education as society evolves,” said Bikos, who’s doing her doctoral work in sociology at Western University.

“I truly believe if we can improve the culture and the environment police officers are working in, it’s going to trickle down to the public.”

30 Aug 2016

Growing number of women police hasn’t yet dismantled ‘old boys’ club’ of officers, ex-cop/researcher finds

LONDON - CANADA

London Free Press

London Free PressMedia Jennifer O'Brien

Growing number of women police hasn’t yet dismantled ‘old boys’ club’ of officers, ex-cop/researcher finds

Jennifer O'Brien
London Free PressMedia
About The Publication

Originally published in the London Free Press

“Not all officers fit the model of the bulging muscle hero running down criminals in the street. We need to shift the way we see policing in our culture. We need officers of all skills, who are high in empathy and low on ego, who are educated before they join and continue that education as society evolves,“ said Bikos, who’s doing her doctoral work in sociology at Western University.

“Many of the police women interviewed admitted that they hesitated to call for backup, worried that they would be perceived as ‘weak’ by their male co-workers,” Bikos wrote in her master’s degree research paper, titled I Took the Blue Pill: The Effect of Hegemonic Masculine Police Culture on Canadian Policewomen’s Identities.