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Race and support for police use of force: findings from the UK

Yesberg, JA; Kyprianides, A; Bradford, B; Milani, J; Quinton, P; Clark-Darby, O; (2021) Race and support for police use of force: findings from the UK. Policing and Society 10.1080/10439463.2021.1994568. (In press).

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Abstract

The use of force is arguably the defining feature of police. Yet this power is often controversial: a key node in the contest and debate that almost always swirls around police, with the question of race never far from such contestation. In this paper, we consider the influence of race in responses to use of force incidents among British-based samples. Using two text-based vignette experiments and one video study, our aims are threefold: (1) to explore the influence of suspect race in how people respond to police use of force; (2) to test the interaction between participant ethnicity and suspect race; and (3) to understand what attitudes and beliefs influence how people respond to police use of force. We found no effect of suspect race on how people judged police use of force. White participants were slightly more accepting of police use of force than black participants, but there was no interaction with suspect race. The strongest predictor of acceptance of police use of force was trust in police, and, controlling for other relevant predictors, racial prejudice was also a significant positive predictor of acceptance of use of force. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind to be fielded in the UK.

Type: Article
Title: Race and support for police use of force: findings from the UK
DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2021.1994568
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2021.1994568
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.
Keywords: Police use of force, race, racial animus, trust
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/10138153
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