Public trust in the police is a matter of great importance for police organizations and governments all over Europe. The police, the public, and the pursuit of trust offers a unique perspective on both citizens’ trust in the police and police trustbuilding strategies from internationally comparative and dynamic angles. It applies rigorous statistical analyses and in-depth case study research.
This book assesses differences and developments in trust in the police across Europe over the past decades. Guided by three theoretical perspectives – instrumentalism, proximity policing and procedural justice –, it also examines what factors on the national and individual level can explain trust in the police. These findings are contrasted with the invention and development of police trustbuilding strategies in England & Wales, Denmark and the Netherlands. The book inquires how and when trust in the police was first defined as a policy problem, what solutions or strategies have since been formulated to address it, and how we can understand differences between these three countries.
The author shows that trust in the police cannot be understood without taking into account police trust-building strategies, nor can these strategies be grasped without an appreciation of national and local context and history. This study will appeal to all readers with an interest in the relationship between citizens and the police, including scholars, policy makers and police officers.