Police effectiveness and police trustworthiness in Ghana: An empirical appraisal

  • Tankebe J
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Abstract

Although police researchers have often assumed that perceptions of police effectiveness enhance police legitimacy, there has been very little empirical support for this assumption. Employing the legitimacy scale developed by Sunshine and Tyler, this study sought to fill this gap in our criminological knowledge using data from a representative public survey in Accra, Ghana (N= 374). The article reports a lack of reliability, in the Ghanaian context, for the overall Sunshine—Tyler scale, and therefore focuses attention on a sub-scale labelled `perceptions of police trustworthiness'. The findings show that though perceptions of police effectiveness exercise a direct impact on perceived police trustworthiness, the relationship is stronger if the police are also perceived to be procedurally fair. The findings are significant as they show that building public trust in the police requires democratic reforms that simultaneously improve the capacity of the police to achieve both substantive effectiveness and procedural fairness.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Ghana police
  • Legitimacy
  • Police effectiveness
  • Police trustworthiness
  • Procedural fairness

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Authors

  • Justice Tankebe

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