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Perceptions of police use of force: The importance of trust

Kyprianides, A; Yesberg, J; Milani, J; Bradford, B; Quinton, P; Clark-Darby, O; (2021) Perceptions of police use of force: The importance of trust. Policing: An International Journal , 44 (1) pp. 175-190. 10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2020-0111. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptions of police use of force: The importance of trust
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2020-0111
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2020-0111
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
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/10113617
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