Trust in the police and policing by consent in turbulent times

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This paper explores the potential impact on policing by consent and trust in the police of diminished political and generalised trust. Drawing on a wide range of academic literature on trust, procedural justice and the legal foundations of policing by consent, an analytical framework is developed which delineates policing by consent into two complementary facets, police state consent and police citizen consent. It thus develops lose mappings mappings between police state consent and political trust, and police citizen consent and generalised trust. This supports the argument that the importance of tackling disproportionality in policing practices and an increased emphasis on neighbourhood policing are not only valuable for reasons recognised in existing literature but also because they may bolster policing by consent in circumstances of reduced political trust and contribute to increased generalised trust across society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalSafer Communities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Prof. Antonia Layard and Dr Foluke Adebisi for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • procedural justice
  • neighbourhood policing
  • policing by consent
  • political trust
  • social and generalised trust
  • trust in the police


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