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What is trust and confidence in the police?

Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben (2010) What is trust and confidence in the police? Policing: a Journal of Policy and Practice, 4 (3). pp. 241-248. ISSN 1752-4512

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Abstract

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: http://policing.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2010 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Mannheim Centre for Criminology
Departments > Methodology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2010 14:08
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27716/

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