Benjamin Koeppen


Ben obtained his first degree in Public Administration with the Police Faculty at the University of Applied Sciences in Hesse, Germany. In his following four-year career as a police officer he worked in the riot police, police protection and in the criminal investigation department. During his time at the riot police Ben carried out typical police duties at large-scale events such as security at demonstrations, football matches and trade fairs. Subsequent to the riot police, Ben continued working in the rapid response unit of the patrol police where he dealt with all kinds of offences, from public disorder and traffic offences to sexual offences and violent crime, including robbery and murder. Following his work as a police patrol officer, Ben transferred to the criminal investigations department at the police headquarters in Frankfurt handling robbery, blackmail, abduction and hostage-taking. The main responsibility of Ben’s task force was robberies of banks, post offices and money couriers. After his police career, Ben obtained an MSc in Criminology at the University of Leicester with a research focus on Crime Prevention and Community Safety.

PhD Research

Due to the constant exposure to a variety of risk-factors, security guards have been identified as high-risk group number one of physical assault at work. Even though both workplace violence and the security industry are on the rise, the security guard profession has been widely overlooked by workplace violence researchers, particularly the retail security guard. Under the supervision of Dr Matt Hopkins and Dr Rebecca Barnes, Ben seeks to fill this gap with his PhD project titled ‘Experiences of and Reactions to Workplace Violence: Quantitative and Qualitative Insights into Security Guards’ Work’. In his thesis, Ben aims to identify contextual factors that contribute to security guards’ experience of physical assault at work, holding the potential to mitigate or exacerbate subsequent psychological consequences. In particular, the contextual factor  of organisational emotional support is of relevance in this research as knowledge in this field is important to improve workplace violence response strategies, increase security guards’ work satisfaction and to lower alarmingly high turnover rates in the industry. Furthermore, security guards’ range of functional and dysfunctional security responses to victimisation is subjected to investigation in order to understand the driving-factors for security personnel’s behavioural changes and their implementation of personal protection equipment at work. Insights into security guards’ self-protection strategies might help to improve behavioural and tactical training provided to security personnel so as to enhance their occupational safety. Ben’s PhD is embedded in the field of Crime Prevention, Security and Risk Management and is expected to complete in 2018.

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