The Consequence of Being a Target of Suspicion: Potential Pitfalls of Proactive Policing

66 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2014

See all articles by Tom Tyler

Tom Tyler

Yale University - Law School

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Methodology

Avital Mentovich

University of Haifa

Date Written: July 20, 2014

Abstract

During the latter half of the 20th century a new model of policing developed in the United States which continues to dominate American policing today. It has two key features. First, it proactively attempts to prevent crime through the widespread use of police stops and arrests for minor crimes. Second, it imposes policing policies and practices upon communities instrumentally via the threat or use of various legal sanctions. Data from a national survey indicate that this approach to policing does not lower fear of crime; increase the perceived risk of punishment for rule breaking; or strongly impact perceptions of disorder. On the other hand, it has damaged the social bonds between the police and the community; undermined police legitimacy and led to declines in public willingness to cooperate with the police. This paper examines how such policies developed, why they are problematic, and how a focus on building popular legitimacy would be more desirable.

Keywords: policing; trust; broken windows; zero tolerance; stop; question and frisk

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Tyler, Tom and Jackson, Jonathan and Mentovich, Avital, The Consequence of Being a Target of Suspicion: Potential Pitfalls of Proactive Policing (July 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2468779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2468779

Tom Tyler (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Methodology ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)

Avital Mentovich

University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

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