Social order and security depend on mutual cooperation between the police and the public. Since the majority of crime is not detected by the police itself, informal control is needed to ensure order in society. This article aims to describe the circumstances under which people´s willingness to cooperate with the police is enhanced. Recent studies show that public compliance and cooperation with authorities who carry out criminal proceedings are linked with the extent to which people perceive these authorities as trustworthy and legitimate. Importantly, trust in police procedural fairness leads to the perception that institutions of justice are legitimate, which in turn enhances people´s willingness to cooperate with them in order to fight crime and disorder. This normative perspective is supported in many European countries. However, evidence exists that instrumental judgements, which focus on one´s self-interest and on outcomes of the justice system, could also be important in some countries. Drawing on procedural justice theory, we examine the importance of normative and instrumental factors in eliciting people´s readiness to help the police fight crime in four Central European countries: the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Poland. While the procedural justice pattern, i.e. the normative perspective, holds well in the Czech Republic and Hungary, in other analysed countries trust in police effectiveness or fear of crime, i.e. instrumental judgements, are relevant too.
Article with impact factor
Moravcová, Eva. 2016. „Willingness to Cooperate with the Police in Four Central European Countries.“ European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 22 (1): 171 - 187. ISSN 0928-1371. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10610-015-9271-0.