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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Ziqiang Han, Ivan Y. Sun and Rong Hu

The purpose of this paper is to assess the influences of social trust and neighborhood cohesion on public trust in the police in China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the influences of social trust and neighborhood cohesion on public trust in the police in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used survey data collected from roughly 5,600 respondents by the 2012 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS). Multivariate regression was employed to analyze the effects of two forms of social trust, generalized trust and particularized trust, and three types of neighborhood cohesion, neighbor solidary, support and interaction, on public trust in the Chinese police, controlling for personal background characteristics.

Findings

Both generalized trust and particularized trust exerted a significant positive effect on trust in the Chinese police. Greater neighborhood cohesion also enhanced public trust in the police. Elderly, women, less educated and people with rural hukou and higher perceived social class were more likely to trust the police.

Research limitations/implications

The CGSS data contained only a single item that could be used to measure public trust in the police. Future studies should consider using multiple survey items to reflect Chinese people’s trust from different conceptual dimensions, such as procedural- and outcome-based trust and police legitimacy. The CGSS data also did not contain information on some relevant predictors, such as victimization and fear of crime, personal and vicarious contact experiences with the police, and news and social media usage and exposure. Future studies, if possible, should incorporate these theoretically relevant and empirically proven variables into the analysis.

Practical implications

Improving neighborhood cohesion is a clear path to cultivate stronger public trust in the police. Policy-makers and officials must bring the neighborhood-centered approach back to local governance by working closely with police leaders and other private and parochial social institutions to launch programs that can effectively stabilize and strengthen local communities and actively promoting positive interactions and social bonds among residents. Policies and programs aimed at enhancing public trust in the police should target at younger, better educated and urban Chinese who are more likely to be critical of the police.

Originality/value

Despite their high relevance, social trust and neighborhood cohesion have received only limited attention in past research on Chinese attitudes toward the police. This study represents one of the first attempts to examine different forms of social trust and neighborhood cohesion on public trust in the police in China.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2020

Darryl L. Chambers, Yasser A. Payne and Ivan Sun

While the past few decades have witnessed a substantial number of studies on public attitudes toward the police, a relatively thin line of inquiry has focused exclusively…

Abstract

Purpose

While the past few decades have witnessed a substantial number of studies on public attitudes toward the police, a relatively thin line of inquiry has focused exclusively on low income urban Black-Americans, and especially street-identified Black populations. The purpose of this paper, however, is to examine trust in police amongst street-identified Black men and women.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on a street participatory action research methodological approach, the authors collected survey data (N = 520) from two low-income unban Black neighborhoods, to examine the effects of an instrumental model versus an expressive model on procedural- and outcome-based trust in police.

Findings

The findings suggested a community sample of street-identified Black men and women were able to differentiate between procedural- and outcome-based trust. The instrumental model was better in predicting procedural-based trust in police, while the expressive model accounted better for outcome-based trust in police.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for street participatory action research methodology, future research and policy are also discussed.

Originality/value

This paper is an original manuscript.

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Sherry Lynn Skaggs and Ivan Y. Sun

The purpose of this paper is to explore factors that shape police behavior in juvenile interactions occurring in rural communities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore factors that shape police behavior in juvenile interactions occurring in rural communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected in rural Kentucky through a factorial survey instrument, this study assessed the effects of situational, officer, organizational and community variables on officers’ authoritative and supportive behavior toward juveniles.

Findings

Officer background characteristics, such as race, sex, education, and having children, and occupational attitudes, such as rehabilitation and dispositional beliefs, were significantly related to both authoritative and supportive behavior. While organizational variables affected officer supportive actions, they were weakly linked to authoritative behavior. Neighborhood social disorganization was ineffective in predicting both types of police behavior.

Originality/value

Although a considerable amount of research has been conducted in the past several decades to examine police behavior, a relatively small number of studies have empirically assessed factors that shape police behavior toward juveniles with an even smaller number assessing juvenile interactions in rural communities. This research provides a comprehensive theoretical explanation of police-juvenile encounters in rural communities which will allow for a more complete understanding of the factors that account for police attitudes and behavior in these interactions.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Ivan Y. Sun, Yuning Wu, Ruth Triplett and Shun-Yung Kevin Wang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of media exposure and political party orientation on public satisfaction with and trust in the police in Taiwan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of media exposure and political party orientation on public satisfaction with and trust in the police in Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from more than 2,000 respondents in three large metropolises and two rural counties in Taiwan in 2011. Multivariate regression was used to assess the effects of media exposure and political party affiliation on public satisfaction with and trust in the police, controlling for crime experience, neighborhood conditions, background characteristics, and locality.

Findings

Taiwanese who were exposed to media reports of police misconduct and believed in the authenticity of such reports were more likely to have lower levels of satisfaction with national police and trust in the police. Though it varied somewhat by whether it was satisfaction with national or local police, the Taiwanese respondents who identified themselves as supporters of the opposition party, or politically neutral, showed lower levels of satisfaction with and trust in the police than supporters for the ruling party. Respondents who shared the same political party orientation expressed higher levels of satisfaction with local police.

Research limitations/implications

The measures of media influence, while classic and straightforward, were relatively simple and future research should not only quantify the links between media use and public trust, but also develop a qualitative cultural understanding of the communicative roles that the media play in shaping public perceptions of the police. In addition, while this study relied on a scientific sampling procedure, the sample cannot completely represent the general population in Taiwan.

Practical implications

It is important for police departments to cultivate good relations with the news media and to adopt a balanced role between law enforcers who are capable of curbing crime and reducing fear of crime, and moral guardians who are willing to uphold community social cohesion and value structures.

Originality/value

Despite a growing number of studies on public assessments in the police in Taiwan, empirical research on the impact of media and political orientation on satisfaction with and trust in the police remains very limited. This study represents one of the first attempts to assess factors related to media and political party orientation in Taiwan.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Siyu Liu, Yuning Wu, Ivan Sun and Feng Li

Following social disorganization theory and the process-based model of policing, the present study aims to examine how characteristics of communities are meaningful in…

Abstract

Purpose

Following social disorganization theory and the process-based model of policing, the present study aims to examine how characteristics of communities are meaningful in shaping citizens' willingness to work with the police in urban China.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data from Shanghai, China, the study adopts a generalized hierarchical linear modeling (GHLM) approach to examine the effects of both individual- and neighborhood-level predictors on the outcome, while taking into consideration the unobserved additional neighborhood-level variations.

Findings

Results suggest potential need of the process-based model to be modified in a Chinese context in that while police presence matters, measures on legitimacy are nonsignificant in shaping willingness to help the police, after controlling for neighborhood characteristics. More importantly, collective efficacy at the neighborhood level is related positively to residents' willingness to work with the police. Constant attention should be paid to the promotion of a collaborative and collectively caring environment, which can contribute to better coordination with the police, and greater willingness to be part of the larger cause of public safety.

Originality/value

The paper advances the scholarship with multi-level modeling and the role of communities in building stronger relationship with the police.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Yuning Wu, Ivan Sun, Feng Li and Siyu Liu

The purpose of this paper is to assess the importance of group position and consciousness in predicting people’s perceptions of police fairness in China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the importance of group position and consciousness in predicting people’s perceptions of police fairness in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used survey data collected from 1,095 respondents in Shanghai. Multivariate regression was used to analyze the effects of group positions and group consciousness variables on perceived police fairness, controlling for personal, experiential and neighborhood factors.

Findings

Regardless of their own hukou status, individuals who live in high migrant areas expressed less favorable attitudes toward police fairness. Meanwhile, people who displayed greater degrees of sensitivity to bias in law rated police fairness less favorably, whereas people who expressed higher levels of moral alignment with the law and belief in no choice but to obey the police rated police fairness more favorably. Lower levels of neighborhood disorder and higher degrees of cohesion were also associated with more positive evaluations of police fairness.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ measure of migrant concentration was constructed based on respondents’ own assessments of this neighborhood feature. Future studies should consider using objective measures to supplement the construction of migrant concentration variables. The authors’ group consciousness variables are limited as they are general, non-residential status specific and only capture part of the traditionally conceptualized variable of group consciousness. Future study should employ better-worded items that can tap precisely into people’s various dimensions of social consciousness based on their group status.

Practical implications

Training officers has to give a high priority to the principles of both procedural and distributive justice, and implement performance and evaluation policies that support fair and responsive police behavior, particularly during situations where citizens report crime to and seek help from the police.

Originality/value

Despite their high relevance, variables reflecting group position have received marginal attention in previous research on public evaluations of the police in China. This study represents a first attempt to examine how the interactions between residence status and the level of neighborhood migrant concentration influence Chinese attitudes toward police fairness.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2020

Kang Hu, Rong Hu, Ivan Sun and Yuning Wu

Public cooperation with the police is of great significance in the maintenance of social security and social harmony, but studies investigating the mechanisms of public…

Abstract

Purpose

Public cooperation with the police is of great significance in the maintenance of social security and social harmony, but studies investigating the mechanisms of public cooperation with the police in China are scarce. Using survey data obtained from Xiamen, China, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of social capital on willingness to cooperate with the police and their mediating mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

Data with 938 respondents were used in this study. Ordinary least squares regression models were used to test the influence of social capital on the willingness of the Chinese public to cooperate with the police and its mediating mechanisms.

Findings

The results show that associational life participation, social trust and neighborhood cohesion can all enhance public willingness to cooperate with the police by cultivating public spirit or trust in government, whereas participation in community collective resistance is negatively correlated with willingness to cooperate with the police. Theoretical explanations are offered to understand different effects of social capital elements on public cooperation with the police, and possible ways to foster such cooperation are discussed.

Originality/value

This paper takes the lead in examining the effects of social capital on willingness to cooperate with the police and their mediating mechanisms in China.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Jessica C.M. Li, Jacky C.K. Cheung and Ivan Y. Sun

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of demands from three life domains: society, workplace and family and different resources at the individual, family and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of demands from three life domains: society, workplace and family and different resources at the individual, family and supervisor levels on occupational stress and work engagement among Hong Kong police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey based on a random sample of 514 male and female police officers was conducted, and multivariate regression was employed to assess the effects of demands and resources on work stress and work engagement.

Findings

Family–work conflicts, organizational and operational factors affected work stress and work engagement among police officers. Constructive coping was found to be positively related to work stress and negatively associated with work engagement.

Research limitations/implications

Survey data collected from a single Chinese city may not be generalized to officers in other parts of China or Chinese societies with different social and political contexts.

Originality/value

The present study filled the knowledge gap about factors influencing police stress and engagement. This study provides insights into how to establish relevant contextual measures to reduce police work stress. This study represents one of the first attempts to use a random sample of police officers for the investigation of police stress in Hong Kong.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Liqun Cao

The purpose of this paper is to differentiate clearly between three frequently used concepts found in the research literature on public perceptions of the police…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to differentiate clearly between three frequently used concepts found in the research literature on public perceptions of the police: confidence in the police, satisfaction with the police and trust in the police.

Design/methodology/approach

Systemic literature review and thematic analysis are employed to assess each key term in the official English language dictionary and in the research literature. Their individual origins, their evolvement and their current usages are examined with great care.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that the three phrases are indeed distinct in their connotation. It is concluded that “confidence in the police” is the preferred choice when we survey the citizenry about the level of support for the police and when the police is evaluated as a political institution.

Practical implications

Given that most criminologists believe that we are doing scientific research, it is our duty to be attentive to the pitfalls of lack of conceptual clarity.

Originality/value

The essay advances the conceptual clarification of one of the popular themes in the study of the police.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Shanhe Jiang, Ivan Y. Sun and Jin Wang

The purpose of this paper is to examine citizens’ satisfaction with police in Guangzhou, China and is aimed at answering two research questions: what is the general…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine citizens’ satisfaction with police in Guangzhou, China and is aimed at answering two research questions: what is the general pattern of Guangzhou citizens’ satisfaction with police; and what variables are salient in predicting satisfaction with police?

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a random sample of approximately 1,200 residents nested in 30 neighborhoods in Guangzhou, China. Hierarchical linear modeling was used for the data analysis.

Findings

First, the majority of residents in Guangzhou held generally positive attitudes toward the police. Second, demographic characteristics were weakly related to satisfaction with police. Third, perception of police legitimacy was associated with evaluations of police performance. Finally, perceived neighborhood crime problems led to lower levels of satisfaction with police.

Research limitations/implications

This research used cross‐sectional data. Thus, the relationships between independent and dependent variables examined in this study are functional but not necessarily causal.

Practical implications

Police in Guangzhou should seek ways to improve their relationship with never married residents and mitigate citizens’ negative perceptions of neighborhood crime problem through various community policing programs, such as holding routine meetings with residents to discuss crime and disorder situations in the neighborhoods. Police in Guangzhou should also continue to inform local residents about the legal right of police to issue commands and increase levels of perceptions of police legitimacy and willingness to follow police instructions.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to examine the correlates of satisfaction with Chinese police at the individual and neighborhood levels simultaneously. Using a random survey of citizens, along with methodological improvement in measurement and modeling, this paper provides readers with more accurate and representative information about public evaluations of Chinese police than previous studies.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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