Fostering cooperation with the police: How do ethnic minorities in Australia respond to procedural justice-based policing?
Public cooperation with police is essential for the control of crime and disorder. Hence, understanding factors that shape public cooperation with the police is important. However, Australian and international studies show that police find it difficult to elicit cooperation from ethnic communities, this made difficult by the fact that ethnic groups display low levels of trust and confidence in the police. This study examines the role that procedural justice plays in fostering minority group perceptions of police legitimacy and their willingness to cooperate with police. Using survey data collected from 1204 Australian citizens, this study tests whether procedurally fair policing can enhance perceptions of police legitimacy and nurture cooperation among ethnic minorities in Australia. Findings reveal that procedural justice predicts views of police legitimacy more so than instrumental factors for both minority and majority group members. The results also suggest that ethnicity moderates the effect of procedural justice on cooperation; specifically, procedural justice is shown to be less effective for nurturing cooperation among ethnic minorities than majority group members. A group identity perspective is used to explain these findings. The findings also have implications for how the police can foster better relationships with ethnically diverse communities.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice