CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, February 21, 2011

Huq, Tyler & Schulhofer on Public Cooperation with Law Enforcement

Huq aziz Aziz Z. Huq (pictured), Tom Tyler and Stephen Schulhofer (University of Chicago Law School , New York University (NYU) - Department of Psychology and New York University (NYU) - School of Law) have posted two manscripts on SSRN dealing with the issue of public cooperation with law enforcement. The first is entitled Mechanisms for Eliciting Cooperation in Counter-Terrorism Policing: Evidence from the United Kingdom. Here is the abstract:

This study examines the effects of counterterrorism policing tactics on public cooperation amongst Muslim communities in London, U.K. It tests a procedural justice model developed in the context of studying crime control in the United States. The study reports results of a random-sample survey of 300 closed and fixed response telephone interviews conducted in Greater London’s Muslim community in February and March 2010. It tests predictors of cooperation with police acting against terrorism. Specifically, the study provides a quantitative analysis of how perceptions of police efficacy, greater terrorism threat, and the choice of policing tactics predict the willingness to cooperate voluntarily in law enforcement efforts against terrorism. Cooperation is defined to have two elements: a general receptivity toward helping the police in anti-terror work, and a specific willingness to alert police upon becoming aware of a terror-related risk in a community. We find that procedural justice concerns prove better predictors for both measures of cooperation in counter-terrorism policing among British Muslims. Unlike previous studies of policing in the United States, however, we find no correlation between judgments about the legitimacy of police and cooperation. Rather procedural justice judgments influence cooperation directly.

The second is entitled Why Does the Public Cooperate with Law Enforcement? The Influence of the Purposes and Targets of Policing (Psychology, Public Policy & Law, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:

This study addresses the extension of the “procedural justice” model for understanding public cooperation with law enforcement to new policing contexts and new minority populations. The study draws on four recent surveys of public reactions to policing against crime or against terrorism across different populations to examine whether the changing purpose of policing, or changes in the communities targeted for heightened policing have an effect on how cooperative behaviors are elicited.

This paper presents evidence that procedural justice mechanisms are robust across a variety of contexts and populations in the United States. Three issues in particular are addressed. First, whether the procedural justice model applies across policing functions and policed populations. Second, whether the perception that another group is the target of disproportionate policing efforts has any effect on the cooperation behavior of a non-targeted population. And third, whether people attend to different aspects of policing behavior if their community is targeted for heightened policing attention.

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