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How to measure procedurally (un)just behavior during police-citizen interactions

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Abstract
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to validate an instrument, based on previous research, for measuring procedurally just and unjust police behavior during interactions with citizens. Design/methodology/approach - Data were gathered from September 2015 to January 2016 using systematic social observations in two local police forces in Belgium. A total of 284 full police-citizen interactions were observed. The authors describe and explain how the procedurally (un) just police behavior is measured and discuss existing research on the subject. The authors also test the validity of the instrument and stress the importance of making a distinction between procedurally just and unjust behavior, which has often been overlooked in previous research. Findings - The measurement instrument passed the validity test, except for the procedurally just neutrality sub-index. The findings also confirm that both procedurally just and procedurally unjust police behavior can occur in the same interaction. Moreover, except for the trustworthy sub-indexes, the authors found a stronger negative correlation of procedurally unjust behavior with the citizen's behavior compared to the strength of the positive correlations of the procedural justice indexes. Research limitations/implications - The findings confirm a usable measurement instrument for research about procedural justice using systematic social observations. Important improvements were made to instruments that have been utilized in previous research. One of the most important recommendations for future research is to make a distinction between procedurally just and unjust police behavior. Originality/value - This study is the first in which all four elements of police procedurally just behavior as well as their four procedurally unjust variants were measured using systematic social observations.
Keywords
Police performance, Police-citizen interactions, Procedural (in)justice, Systematic social observations

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Van Damme, Anjuli. 2017. “How to Measure Procedurally (un)just Behavior During Police-citizen Interactions.” Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 40 (3): 587–600.
APA
Van Damme, Anjuli. (2017). How to measure procedurally (un)just behavior during police-citizen interactions. POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT, 40(3), 587–600.
Vancouver
1.
Van Damme A. How to measure procedurally (un)just behavior during police-citizen interactions. POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd; 2017;40(3):587–600.
MLA
Van Damme, Anjuli. “How to Measure Procedurally (un)just Behavior During Police-citizen Interactions.” POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT 40.3 (2017): 587–600. Print.
@article{8566296,
  abstract     = {Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to validate an instrument, based on previous research, for measuring procedurally just and unjust police behavior during interactions with citizens. Design/methodology/approach - Data were gathered from September 2015 to January 2016 using systematic social observations in two local police forces in Belgium. A total of 284 full police-citizen interactions were observed. The authors describe and explain how the procedurally (un) just police behavior is measured and discuss existing research on the subject. The authors also test the validity of the instrument and stress the importance of making a distinction between procedurally just and unjust behavior, which has often been overlooked in previous research. Findings - The measurement instrument passed the validity test, except for the procedurally just neutrality sub-index. The findings also confirm that both procedurally just and procedurally unjust police behavior can occur in the same interaction. Moreover, except for the trustworthy sub-indexes, the authors found a stronger negative correlation of procedurally unjust behavior with the citizen's behavior compared to the strength of the positive correlations of the procedural justice indexes. Research limitations/implications - The findings confirm a usable measurement instrument for research about procedural justice using systematic social observations. Important improvements were made to instruments that have been utilized in previous research. One of the most important recommendations for future research is to make a distinction between procedurally just and unjust police behavior. Originality/value - This study is the first in which all four elements of police procedurally just behavior as well as their four procedurally unjust variants were measured using systematic social observations.},
  author       = {Van Damme, Anjuli},
  issn         = {1363-951X},
  journal      = {POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES \& MANAGEMENT},
  keyword      = {Police performance,Police-citizen interactions,Procedural (in)justice,Systematic social observations},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {587--600},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Ltd},
  title        = {How to measure procedurally (un)just behavior during police-citizen interactions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-09-2016-0140},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2017},
}

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