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An experimental study of responses to armed police in Great Britain

Yesberg, J; Bradford, B; (2020) An experimental study of responses to armed police in Great Britain. Journal of Experimental Criminology 10.1007/s11292-019-09408-8. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: This study tested whether the presence of a firearm changed the way people reacted to police among a British sample. Method: In an online study, participants were shown images of armed and unarmed police and rated them on a number of variables. Some participants were primed to think about terrorism, and some participants were exposed to more armed police than others. Results: Participants had more negative responses to police when they were armed. We found no effect of the terrorism prime on people’s reactions to images of armed police and no effect of exposure. Yet, unexpectedly, we found a negative effect of the terrorism prime on trust and legitimacy. Conclusions: In a country where police have never before been routinely armed, this research raises important questions about how armed police can retain the public’s support when they may no longer be considered ‘prototypical representatives’ of the British people.

Type: Article
Title: An experimental study of responses to armed police in Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11292-019-09408-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-019-09408-8
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: armed police, British policing, firearms, perceptions of police, social identity, terrorism salience
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088282
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