Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

What is trust and confidence in the police?

Jackson, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-2426-2219 and Bradford, Ben (2010) What is trust and confidence in the police? Policing, 4 (3). pp. 241-248. ISSN 1752-4512

Download (252kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1093/police/paq020


One of the first actions of the new Home Secretary was to scrap public confidence as the single performance indicator of policing in England and Wales. Yet public trust and confidence will remain important to policing policy and practice. Trust and confidence can (a) encourage active citizen participation in priority setting and the running of local services, (b) make public bodies more locally accountable and responsive, and (c) secure public cooperation with the police and compliance with the law. Analysing survey data from London, we find that overall ‘public confidence’ condenses a range of complex and inter-related judgements concerning the trustworthiness of the police. We argue that confidence summarizes a motive-based trust that is rooted in a social alignment between the police and the community. This social alignment is founded upon public assessments of the ability of the police to be a ‘civic guardian’ who secures public respect and embodies community values (Loader and Mulcahy, 2003). By demonstrating their trustworthiness to the public, the police can strengthen their social connection with citizens and thus encourage more active civic engagement in domains of security and policing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2010 14:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 23:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics