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Legitimacy in Policing: No. 10 of Crime Prevention Research Review

Police require voluntary cooperation from the general public to be effective in controlling crime and maintaining order. Research shows that citizens are more likely to comply and cooperate with police and obey the law when they view the police as legitimate (Tyler 1990, 1997; Tyler and Fagan 2008; Tyler and Huo). This systematic review synthesizes published and unpublished empirical evidence on the impact of interventions led by the public police to enhance citizen perceptions of police legitimacy. Our objective was to provide a systematic review of the direct and indirect benefits of policing approaches that foster legitimacy in policing. Studies had to either state explicitly that the intervention sought to increase police legitimacy, or report that police applied at least one of the principles of procedural justice: participation, neutrality, dignity or respect, and trustworthy motives.

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