26 August 2010
Several studies about violence against vocational groups such as nurses, shop assistants and prison officers have been carried out during the late 1990’s and early 2000 (Åkerström 1993, 2000, 2002; Geijer 2002; Gustavsson & Svedberg 2002). A vocational group, whose exposition to violence seems to have increased during the early 2000, is security officers. In the media, violence against security officers during money transport robberies has become a current topic. Recent studies show, that security officers are the vocational group the second most subjected to violence and threat of violence in Swedish workplaces (Arbetsmiljöverket - Arbetsmiljön 2001). Yet there are only a few Nordic studies discussing the victimisation of violence of security officers (Aromaa et.al. 1994; Arbetsmiljöverket - Arbetsmiljön 2001; Hurskainen 2004; Heiskanen 2005).
The aim of this study is to discuss, analyse and compare Swedish and Finnish security officers’ narratives considering their victimisation of violence. This study is twofold, as it examines what the security officers present as violence and fear of violence in the narratives, as well as how the security officers present it. In my analyse of the interview material, I will use sociological and criminological theories and concepts such as the lifestyle theory (Hindelang et.al. 1978), Christie’s concept The Ideal Victim (1986), and theories about the differences in victimisation of violence of men and women (see e.g. Stanko 1990; Smith & Torstensson 1997). Additionally, I will analyse the material by using Goffman’s dramaturgical model (1959/2000) in order to study how the security officers present themselves. This study will further discuss the security officers’ assessment of risk of violence in their daily vocational life. The study can thus elucidate current and future crime prevention strategies of security officers in Sweden and Finland.