The Roles of Police-Related versus Non-Police-Related Considerations in Shaping Diffused Support for the Police: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tal Jonathan-Zamir*, Roni Factor, Gali Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Global views of the police (often termed "legitimacy", "trust", "satisfaction"or "support") are frequently regarded as the product of micro-level, police-related consideration: beliefs about what the police are doing and how they are doing it. Studies taking a sociological or political perspective have revealed that views unrelated to policing, such as satisfaction with the government, may also be important predictors of global views of the police. However, police-related and non-police-related considerations are frequently not considered together as antecedents of macro-level views of the police. This study aims to illuminate the respective roles of police-related versus non-police-related considerations in shaping citizens' diffused support for the police while utilizing the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from a panel survey carried out during the first and third peaks of the pandemic in Israel reveal that the only factor which had a direct effect on the drop in diffused support for the police was the public's assessment of the government's (not the police's) performance in handling the pandemic. We conclude by calling for more sophisticated measurement and interpretation of public approval of the police and its antecedents.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Annals of Criminology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© International Society of Criminology, 2024.

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Keywords:
  • panel surveys
  • public attitudes toward the police
  • structural equation modelling

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