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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Wonhyuk Cho

This chapter analyzes how institutional pressures have allowed for continuities as well as brought about changes in modern police organizations in Korea. When facing a…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes how institutional pressures have allowed for continuities as well as brought about changes in modern police organizations in Korea. When facing a legitimacy crisis, the Korean law enforcement system has typically responded with organizational restructuring. Strong myth-building patterns compensate for the lack of moral legitimacy of the police, particularly under authoritarian-military regimes that suppress democratization movements in Korea. Even after seemingly radical organizational changes aimed at placing the police under democratic control, highly institutionalized core structures of the police remain in place. Performance reform after the economic crisis, which was proceeded from reformers’ shared belief in the market-driven solutions, diagnosed the Korean police as a big, inefficient, and self-serving bureaucracy, a diagnosis that eventually caused gradual deterioration in the taken-for-grantedness of policing activities. The internet and social media made the Korean police even more vulnerable to external challenges and a questioning of its legitimacy.

Details

The Experience of Democracy and Bureaucracy in South Korea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-471-2

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2016

Ashley K. Farmer and Ivan Y. Sun

This chapter examines how citizen journalism affects perceptions of legitimacy among local residents and police officers.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter examines how citizen journalism affects perceptions of legitimacy among local residents and police officers.

Methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews with residents and police officers.

Findings

Local residents are mostly willing to obey police commands, but a lack of trust in the police and fear of retaliation hinder willingness to cooperate with the police. Citizens’ willingness to follow police orders is mostly a way for them to end the encounter as quickly as possible so the contact will not extend for a prolonged period of time and cause even more serious consequences. Citizens have recorded the police in the past when they witnessed officers not following proper procedures. The police view citizens recording them as a form of defiance and while this makes policing challenging, police officers interviewed still hold high levels of self-legitimacy, most likely due to their organizational and occupational culture. Recording the police has emerged as a way for citizens to challenge police authority and legitimacy during encounters.

Originality/value

While recording the police has increased with recent technological advances, little empirical research has examined its impact on policing and police-community relations. This study connects three critical issues in policing – technology, citizen journalism, and police legitimacy – by assessing the impact of recording the police on police legitimacy in the eyes of the public and police officers. Not only does this study fill our gap in knowledge on citizens recording the police, but it also furnishes valuable implications for policy and future study.

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The Politics of Policing: Between Force and Legitimacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-030-5

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Amie M. Schuck

Crime has declined in the United States over the past 25 years; however, the decrease in victimization has not been equal across all communities. As a result, many law…

Abstract

Crime has declined in the United States over the past 25 years; however, the decrease in victimization has not been equal across all communities. As a result, many law enforcement agencies have concentrated their efforts in high-risk areas, and this concentration of policing can lead to resentment among members of the community, especially if they feel the officers are disrespectful, use excessive force, or disregard their civil rights. These residents are in double jeopardy – experiencing the negative consequences of living in dangerous communities and enduring the direct and indirect costs of aggressive policing. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss community policing as a potential means to increase police legitimacy, strengthen community resilience, and promote prosocial interactions between officers and residents. Community policing is a philosophy that advances organizational approaches designed to leverage citizen engagement and problem solving as proactive strategies to deal with public safety issues, including crime, disorder, and fear of crime. Because community policing is grounded in trust, cooperation, and problem solving, it has the potential to improve residents’ quality of life by developing and strengthening mechanisms of social control and support. Community policing can increase police legitimacy by providing opportunities for community members to examine the actions and policies of the police, assess the alignment of these state-sanctioned activities with residents’ values and needs, and bring the two into agreement. In this chapter the basic principles of community policing will be discussed within the context of how these concepts are related to the exercise of social control and residents’ perceptions of police legitimacy.

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Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Arabella Kyprianides, Julia A. Yesberg, Jenna Milani, Ben Bradford, Paul Quinton and Oliver Clark–Darby

The range of tactical force options available to police is increasing, while public debate about police use of force is never far from the headlines. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The range of tactical force options available to police is increasing, while public debate about police use of force is never far from the headlines. This paper aims to examine what factors shape how people accept police use of force.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use two online experiments to test whether different force options affected judgments about the acceptability of police action and to explore the role of trust and legitimacy in people's judgments.

Findings

The authors found across both studies that respondents judged scenarios involving a weapon (baton, CS spray, Taser) as less acceptable compared to scenarios that did not (talking down, handcuffs), but they did not draw much distinction between the specific weapon used. In study 1, exposure to different police tactics had no effect on trust and legitimacy. In study 2, prior perceptions of trust were strong predictors of acceptability judgments.

Originality/value

There is a comparative paucity of British-based empirical research examining public attitudes toward different use of force resolutions by police. In this paper, the authors explore how use of force affects people's views of police at a time in which the nature and scope of force applications, how these are understood and indeed the basic enterprise of policing itself is being reconsidered and renegotiated.

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Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2020

Jasmine R. Silver

This study extends legitimacy theory by examining individualizing and binding moral motives and perceptions of police.

Abstract

Purpose

This study extends legitimacy theory by examining individualizing and binding moral motives and perceptions of police.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are drawn from an online survey of the public (N = 961). OLS regression is used to predict global perceptions of legitimacy, as well as department legitimacy and acceptance of force in an experimental vignette that manipulates procedural justice.

Findings

The binding moral motive is associated with greater global and department legitimacy and acceptance of force. The individualizing moral motive is associated with reduced global legitimacy and acceptance of force, and with department legitimacy when procedural justice is low. Perceptions of legitimacy mediate the effects of the binding moral motive on acceptance of force and of the individualizing moral motive when procedural justice is low.

Research limitations/implications

This study identifies novel antecedents of police legitimacy and acceptance of force (i.e. binding and individualizing moral motives).

Social implications

This study provides insight into public attitudes regarding use of force.

Originality/value

This study is the first to propose and test a link between binding and individualizing moral motives and perceptions of police.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Lisa Fedina, Bethany L. Backes, Hyun-Jin Jun, Jordan DeVylder and Richard P. Barth

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship among police legitimacy/trust and experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV), including victims’ decisions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship among police legitimacy/trust and experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV), including victims’ decisions to report IPV to police and police responses to IPV.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were drawn from the 2017 Survey of Police–Public Encounters II – a cross-sectional, general population survey of adults from New York City and Baltimore (n=1,000). Regression analyses were used to examine associations among police legitimacy/trust, IPV exposure, police reporting of IPV, and perceived police responses to IPV and interaction effects.

Findings

Higher levels of IPV exposure were significantly associated with lower levels of police legitimacy/trust; however, this relationship was stronger among African–American participants than non-African–American participants. Higher levels of police legitimacy/trust were significantly associated with more positive police responses to IPV and this relationship was stronger among heterosexual participants than sexual minority participants.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should examine prospective relationships to understand causal mechanisms linking individual perceptions of police legitimacy/trust, experiences with IPV and victims’ interactions with police.

Practical implications

Low levels of legitimacy/trust between police and citizens may result, in part, if police are engaged in negative or inadequate responses to reports of IPV. Police–social work partnerships can enhance effective police responses to IPV, particularly to racial/ethnic and sexual minority individuals.

Originality/value

This study provides empirical evidence linking police legitimacy/trust to the experiences of IPV and perceived police responses to reports of IPV, including important group differences among victims based on race/ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Justin Nix and Scott E. Wolfe

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors associated with management-level officers’ sensitivity to various manifestations of the “Ferguson effect.”

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors associated with management-level officers’ sensitivity to various manifestations of the “Ferguson effect.”

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was administered to police officers attending an advanced training institute in the Southeastern USA in the fall of 2015. Specifically, a series of items first inquired about negative attitudes attributable to deadly force incidents throughout the country, followed by items tapping into theoretically relevant concepts including self-legitimacy, audience legitimacy, and peer attachment.

Findings

Findings suggest that like line-level officers, police managers may also harbor various attitudes attributable to a Ferguson effect – including less willingness to be proactive, reduced motivation, less job enjoyment, and a belief that crime will ultimately rise as officers “de-police.” However, officers who believe their communities afford legitimacy to the police were less likely to report these sentiments. Study limitations and avenues for future research are also discussed.

Originality/value

This is the first study to consider how police managers have been impacted by highly publicized deadly force incidents in recent years. It underscores the importance of maintaining legitimacy in the public eye, particularly in the post-Ferguson era of American policing.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Kristina Murphy, Natasha S. Madon and Adrian Cherney

Procedural justice is important for fostering peoples’ willingness to cooperate with police. Theorizing suggests this relationship results because procedural justice…

Abstract

Purpose

Procedural justice is important for fostering peoples’ willingness to cooperate with police. Theorizing suggests this relationship results because procedural justice enhances perceptions that the police are legitimate and entitled to be supported. The purpose of this paper is to examine how legitimacy perceptions moderate the effect of procedural justice policing on Muslims’ willingness to cooperate with police.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from 800 Muslims in Australia are used.

Findings

This study shows Muslims’ procedural justice perceptions are positively associated with two types of cooperation: willingness to cooperate with police in general crime control efforts; and willingness to report terror threats to police. Muslims’ perceptions of police legitimacy and law legitimacy also influence willingness to cooperate. Specifically, police legitimacy is more important for predicting general willingness to cooperate with police, while law legitimacy is more important for predicting Muslims’ willingness to report terror threats. Importantly, legitimacy perceptions moderate the relationship between procedural justice and both types of cooperation. Specifically, procedural justice promotes cooperation more strongly for those who question the legitimacy of police or the legitimacy of counter-terrorism laws, but the moderation effects differ across the two cooperation contexts. The findings have implications for procedural justice scholarship and for counter-terrorism policing.

Originality/value

The current paper examines an under-explored aspect of legitimacy; it examines police legitimacy perceptions, but also examines how people view the legitimacy of laws police enforce (i.e. law legitimacy). It is argued that perceptions about law legitimacy can also impact people’s willingness to cooperate with police.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Adewumi I. Badiora

In Nigeria, vigilantism appears to be a common response to dissatisfaction about the state police in the recent time. Using survey data of residents in Lagos, Nigeria, the…

Abstract

Purpose

In Nigeria, vigilantism appears to be a common response to dissatisfaction about the state police in the recent time. Using survey data of residents in Lagos, Nigeria, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to explore whether what is already known about perceptions of procedural (in) justice of state police also applies to self-help security groups in Nigeria. This is with a view to influencing community support for and satisfaction with non-state policing in the country.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a case study approach. Lagos, Nigeria was stratified into the high, medium and low densities. Systematic sampling technique was used in selecting 1 out of every 20 buildings (5 percent) in each area. Household representative person on each floor of the selected building who had contact with vigilante corps in the last 12 months were targeted. Of 768 copies of questionnaires administered, a sample of 386 was effectively returned (representing 50 percent response rate). Six categories of variables were analyzed. These are procedural justice, distributive justice, vigilante corps’ performance, legitimacy, residents’ satisfaction with vigilante corps activities and socio-economic characteristics.

Findings

Results reveal that respondents are not primarily instrumental in their support for vigilantisms. Instead, their support is associated with their basic communal values. More than effectiveness in controlling crime, vigilantisms receive community support provided they use procedural justice in dealings with the public. Respondents who perceive vigilantisms use procedural justice also view them as legitimate, and as well satisfy with their activities and services. Besides, results show that support for and satisfaction with vigilantisms are associated with environmental, social and economic characteristics of the residents in the community they serve. The thesis supported in this research paper is that public support for and satisfaction with vigilantisms can be influenced significantly through policing strategies that builds legitimacy.

Originality/value

Vigilantism pervades contemporary policing strategies. It is supported by national crime prevention policies, according to the logic that the use of community self-help security strategies could contribute to sustainable crime prevention. This study extends research on legitimacy, with an empirical focus on Nigerian vigilantism. Understanding factors that shape public support for vigilantism may enhance safer communities.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Tammy Rinehart Kochel

Policing differs across neighborhoods, but little is known about how context conditions residents’ assessments about police legitimacy. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Policing differs across neighborhoods, but little is known about how context conditions residents’ assessments about police legitimacy. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether procedural justice and police effectiveness differently contribute to legitimacy judgments depending on the security risk inherent in the context.

Design/methodology/approach

The research applies a series of multi-level regression models using nearly 3,000 surveys of Trinidad and Tobago residents.

Findings

Police legitimacy and the conditions that promote legitimacy vary across neighborhoods. In “good” neighborhoods, individuals draw on police effectiveness and procedural justice to infer legitimacy, but in at-risk neighborhoods, residents’ views derive from effectiveness. Procedural justice does not play a significant role.

Practical implications

One implication for police is that the current emphasis on evidence-based policing strategies, especially in high crime neighborhoods, can provide a mechanism to improve the generally negative views about police legitimacy held by those residents. The findings do not imply, however, that police need not be concerned about procedural justice in at-risk neighborhoods. In fact, as police improve their crime prevention prowess, views about how procedurally just their methods are increase in importance.

Originality/value

Prior research addressing the antecedents of legitimacy has focused on individual demographic and attitudinal predictors. Only two prior studies have begun to investigate whether residents of different contexts may form their views based on different antecedents. This study outlines a theoretical basis for why different bases may be expected and then tests those expectations using rigorous statistical analyses.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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