2010

Authors

  • Alistair Fildes Alistair Fildes

Over the last ten years there has been an increasing focus on procedural justice policing. Interest in this area has grown as studies have established that public perceptions of the police as procedurally just can improve public compliance, cooperation, and satisfaction with law enforcement. However, less is known about the factors that prevent or inhibit police officers from demonstrating procedural justice when dealing with the public. The literature that does exist on procedural justice barriers has proposed a range of issues – from time constraints limiting officers’ ability to demonstrate procedural justice, to procedural justice not being a priority for officers. There is a research gap for a systematic identification of the barriers that may inhibit officers from using procedural justice. When examining police behaviour towards the public, a characteristic of the policing literature is the focus on the operational stage of officers’ careers, to the exclusion of how recruit training may instil these behaviours. Recruit training is where officers learn the knowledge and skills to be an operational officer; knowledge and skills that will adapt and change once they begin to apply them in real-life situations. As yet, there is no in-depth understanding of the effect of recruit training on procedural justice policing, the consequence being that there may be factors in how recruits are prepared for police work that inhibits police demonstrations of procedural justice when they become operational.