Year: 2004 Source: Acta Criminologica, v.17, no.2, (2007), p.17-33 SIEC No: 20070804

Suicide rates are alarmingly high in the South African Police Services (SAPS). Several studies have been done regarding suicide and law enforcement agencies but few regarding suicide ideation in law enforcement agencies. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between coping, stress and suicide ideation within the SAPS. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A random, stratified sample was taken from the ranks of police officials in Gauteng Province ( = 266). The Adult Suicide Ideation Questionnaire, Police Stress Inventory, the COPE Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were administered. The results indicated that the factors that predict suicide ideation the best are the following: A previous suicide attempt, passive coping styles, to be charged in terms of the disciplinary code, medical conditions and gender. The results also indicated that 9, 02% of the sample showed significant levels of suicide ideation.