CrimProf Blog

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bradford & Quinton on Police Self-Legitimacy

Ben Bradford and Paul Quinton (University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology and College of Policing) have posted Self-Legitimacy, Police Culture and Support for Democratic Policing in an English Constabulary on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

When do police officers feel confident in their own authority? What factors influence their sense of their own legitimacy? What is the effect of such ‘self-legitimacy’ on the way they think about policing? This paper addresses these questions using a survey of police officers working in an English constabulary. We find that the most powerful predictor of officers’ confidence in their own authority is identification with their organization, itself something strongly associated with perceptions of the procedural justice of senior management. A greater sense of self-legitimacy is in turn linked to greater commitment to ‘democratic’ modes of policing. Finally, we find that this sense of legitimacy is embedded in a matrix of identities and cultural adaptations within the police organization.

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