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Influencing Trust and Confidence in the London Metropolitan Police: Results from an Experiment Testing the Effect of Leaflet Drops on Public Opinion

Posted: 26 Apr 2010  

Katrin Hohl

City University London; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Ben Bradford

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Elizabeth A. Stanko

Independent

Date Written: May 2010

Abstract

Enhancing trust and confidence has moved to the centre of policing policy in England and Wales. The association between direct encounters with police officers and confidence in the police is well-established. But is it possible for the police to increase confidence among the general population including those people who do not routinely come into direct contact with police officers? This paper presents the findings from a quasi-randomised experiment conducted on population representative samples in seven London wards that assessed the impact of a leaflet drop on public perceptions of policing. The results provide strong evidence of an improvement in overall confidence, and in perceptions of police-community engagement, specifically. The leaflets also appear to have had a buffering effect against declines in public assessments of police effectiveness. The findings support the idea that public trust and confidence can be enhanced by direct police communication of this type.

Keywords: trust and confidence, police communication, quasi-randomized experiment

Suggested Citation

Hohl, Katrin and Bradford, Ben and Stanko, Elizabeth A., Influencing Trust and Confidence in the London Metropolitan Police: Results from an Experiment Testing the Effect of Leaflet Drops on Public Opinion (May 2010). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 50, Issue 3, pp. 491-513, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1593981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azq005

Katrin Hohl (Contact Author)

City University London ( email )

Northampton Square
London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://lse.academia.edu/KatrinHohl/About

Ben Bradford

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Elizabeth A. Stanko

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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