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Police Legitimacy and the Norm to Cooperate: Using a Mixed Effects Location-Scale Model to Estimate the Strength of Social Norms at a Small Spatial Scale

Jackson, J; Brunton-Smith, I; Bradford, B; Oliveira, TR; Pósch, K; Sturgis, P; (2020) Police Legitimacy and the Norm to Cooperate: Using a Mixed Effects Location-Scale Model to Estimate the Strength of Social Norms at a Small Spatial Scale. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 10.1007/s10940-020-09467-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: Test whether cooperation with the police can be modelled as a place-based norm that varies in strength from one neighborhood to the next. Estimate whether perceived police legitimacy predicts an individual’s willingness to cooperate in weak-norm neighborhoods, but not in strong-norm neighborhoods where most people are either willing or unwilling to cooperate, irrespective of their perceptions of police legitimacy. Methods: A survey of 1057 individuals in 98 relatively high-crime English neighborhoods defined at a small spatial scale measured (a) willingness to cooperate using a hypothetical crime vignette and (b) legitimacy using indicators of normative alignment between police and citizen values. A mixed-effects, location-scale model estimated the cluster-level mean and cluster-level variance of willingness to cooperate as a neighborhood-level latent variable. A cross-level interaction tested whether legitimacy predicts individual-level willingness to cooperate only in neighborhoods where the norm is weak. Results: Willingness to cooperate clustered strongly by neighborhood. There were neighborhoods with (1) high mean and low variance, (2) high mean and high variance, (3) (relatively) low mean and low variance, and (4) (relatively) low mean and high variance. Legitimacy was only a positive predictor of cooperation in neighborhoods that had a (relatively) low mean and high variance. There was little variance left to explain in neighborhoods where the norm was strong. Conclusions: Findings support a boundary condition of procedural justice theory: namely, that cooperation can be modelled as a place-based norm that varies in strength from neighborhood to neighborhood and that legitimacy only predicts an individual’s willingness to cooperate in neighborhoods where the norm is relatively weak.

Type: Article
Title: Police Legitimacy and the Norm to Cooperate: Using a Mixed Effects Location-Scale Model to Estimate the Strength of Social Norms at a Small Spatial Scale
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10940-020-09467-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10940-020-09467-5
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: Police, Legitimacy, Cooperation, Micro-place, Multi-level modelling
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/10106136
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