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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1640958
 
 

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Cooperating with the Police: Social Control and the Reproduction of Police Legitimacy


Ben Bradford


University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Jonathan Jackson


London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

July 16, 2010


Abstract:     
Calling upon and assisting police officers are acts of public cooperation that link informal and formal mechanisms of social control. An in-depth study of seven London neighborhoods investigates the relationships between (a) cooperation with the police, (b) public trust in police fairness and effectiveness, and (c) public perceptions of everyday social regulation processes. Cooperation with the police is associated first with high levels of public trust in procedural fairness, second with confidence that local residents will intervene on behalf of the collective good, and third with heightened concerns about disorder and the loss of authority and discipline in society. We conclude with the idea that cooperation is shaped by trust in the police and is reinforced and challenged by a complex set of relational concerns. Moreover, by recognizing and supporting the function of the police to fight crime and administer justice, acts of cooperation both constitute and confer police legitimacy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: trust and confidence in the police, informal social control, legitimacy

JEL Classification: K40

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Date posted: July 17, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Bradford, Ben and Jackson, Jonathan, Cooperating with the Police: Social Control and the Reproduction of Police Legitimacy (July 16, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1640958 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1640958

Contact Information

Ben Bradford
University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
Jonathan Jackson (Contact Author)
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)
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