Just Authority? Trust in the Police in England and Wales

Pre-publication first chapter from 'Just Authority? Trust in the Police in England and Wales', to be published by Routledge in Summer 2012

20 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2012  

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

Ben Bradford

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Elizabeth A. Stanko

Independent

Katrin Hohl

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

Date Written: April 4, 2012

Abstract

What does it mean to trust the police? What makes the police legitimate in the eyes of the policed? What builds trust, legitimacy and cooperation, and what undermines the bond between police and the public? These questions are central to current debates concerning the relationship between the British police and the public it serves. Yet, in the context of British policing they are seldom asked explicitly, still less examined in depth. Drawing on psychological and sociological explanatory paradigms, Just Authority presents a cutting-edge empirical study into public trust, police legitimacy, and people’s readiness to cooperate with officers. It represents, first, the most detailed test to date of Tom Tyler’s procedural justice model attempted outside the United States. Second, it uncovers the social ecology of trust and legitimacy. Third, it describes the relationships between trust, legitimacy and cooperation. This book contains many important lessons for practitioners, policy-makers and academics. As elsewhere the dominant vision of policing in Great Britain continues to stress instrumental effectiveness: the ‘fight against crime’ will be won by pro-active and even aggressive policing. In line with work from the United States and elsewhere, Just Authority casts significant doubt on such claims. When people find policing to be unfair, disrespectful and careless of human dignity, not only is trust lost, legitimacy is also damaged and cooperation is withdrawn as a result. Absent such public support, the job of the police is made harder and the avowed objectives of less crime and disorder placed ever further from reach.

Keywords: trust, legitimacy, police, policing, contact

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben and Stanko, Elizabeth A. and Hohl, Katrin, Just Authority? Trust in the Police in England and Wales (April 4, 2012). Pre-publication first chapter from 'Just Authority? Trust in the Police in England and Wales', to be published by Routledge in Summer 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2034343

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)

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

Katrin Hohl

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

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