Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 10–21 | Cite as

Youth, Police Legitimacy and Informal Contact

  • Lyn Hinds


This paper explores the under-researched topic of young people’s attitudes towards police in two studies using structural equation modelling. The first study examines the influence of police legitimacy on the willingness of young people to assist police. The second study examines the impact of informal contact with police during a community policing project on young people’s willingness to assist police. Findings show that young people who view police as legitimate are more willing to assist police. Participation in the community policing project had a significant and positive influence on young people’s willingness to assist police independent of young people’s attitudes about police legitimacy.


Police legitimacy Juvenile justice Police-youth relationships Community policing 



The author wishes to acknowledge the support of the Australian Research Council Grant number LP0346987.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Security 21, Regulatory Institutions Network, College of Asia and the PacificThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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