English title: Explaining the Public Distrust of Police in the Newest European Union Countries

Author(s): Viviana Andreescu - Deborah Keeling -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012

Abstract

Based on recent cross-sectional data from the European Social Surveys Round 4 (2008), in Romania and Bulgaria the average levels of confidence in the country’s police appear to be much lower than in most European Union states. However, Romanians and Bulgarians tend to trust more the local police than they trust their country’s legal system, the main political parties, the country’s parliament, and the national government. Using ESS4 data collected from national representative samples of Romanians and Bulgarians, the present quantitative analysis attempts to assess the relative influence on attitudes toward the police of subjective (e.g., perceptions of important legal and political institutions; interpersonal trust; perceived sense of safety; perceived social and economic exclusion) and objective individual-level factors, such as socio-demographic characteristics, residency in capital cities (Bucharest and Sofia), and experiences with victimization. Results show that in both countries, institutional trust is the most important predictor of public attitudes toward the police. The potential impact of real and perceived recent crime trends and the latent effects of economic, political, legal, and historical conditions on public discontent with the police in developing democracies will be also discussed.

Volume: 14

Issue: 3

From page no: 219

To page no: 245

Refereed: Yes

DOI:

Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management

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