I politillidens navn

Jacob Lauridsen & Kaspar Berthelsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Crisis communication is widely used in organizational management around the globe. The Copenhagen Police Department is an organization who is in contact with the media on a daily basis. A number of large mediated communications crises have befallen The Copenhagen Police Department, some of them have generated an image threat which would have destroyed other organizations, and still the Danish police hold the trust of the Danish society. The department has no real communication plan and furthermore it does not even recognize every situation threatening its image as being a crisis. So which communication processes does The Copenhagen Police Department follow when dealing with mediated communications crises, and what challenges does that entail for the external communication in the department? This thesis looks at how The Copenhagen Police department’s external communication is used to handle a socially constructed crisis started by the media. Using a mix of popular crisis communication theory, theory on symbolic capital and stakeholder management this thesis will try to broaden the understanding of the trust given to the department by the stakeholders, the Danish society. The empirical foundation is made up of two interviews which feature the two leading figures in The Copenhagen Police Department, Chief Police Inspector, Per Larsen and Deputy Police Inspector, Flemming Steen Munch. Furthermore the analysis consists of three case studies based on communication crises that the department has been involved in. The thesis will give us an understanding of how the openness of the police department entails trust and how they survive without following best practice of the crisis communication ideology. The media construct an insecure feeling surrounding the Danish police which the police is forced to repel and change into a sense of security. This is done, not just by the way they handle arrests, fines and large scale operations, but also by the means of their communication. How do they become the police of the people?

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages120