Perception of police legitimacy among private security officers

Abstract

The private security market is growing around the world, and public police are no longer the predominant agents of order maintenance and crime prevention. This development has important implications as different policing agents come in contact with each other. Specifically, understanding how they view each other can help increase the benefits of today’s paradigm of security governance. Despite abundant research on citizen perceptions of police, few studies explore private security officers’ opinions about their public counterparts. Therefore, this research explores private security officers’ perceptions of the police in South Korea. Results show that the respondents’ attitudes toward police performance and distributive and procedural justice have varying influences on the three dimensions of police legitimacy: Obligation to obey, trust, and normative alignment. Additionally, the authors suggest the police should understand that private security officers’ perceptions of police legitimacy are influenced by distinct factors depending on contact experience and employment type.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The figure does not include in-house security officers.

  2. 2.

    The useable survey questionnaires returned by 436 private security officers were included for analysis, and possible missing data issues were assessed and addressed properly. The results of missing data analysis confirmed that the missing items were Missing Completely At Random (MCAR). Therefore, a listwise deletion method was used in the analyses. As a result, the number of cases included was not equal to the total number of sample.

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Correspondence to Julak Lee.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 5 Measurement of variables

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Paek, S.Y., Nalla, M.K. & Lee, J. Perception of police legitimacy among private security officers. Secur J 32, 287–305 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-018-00163-5

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Keywords

  • Private security industry
  • Nodal governance of security
  • South Korea
  • Police legitimacy
  • Public–private cooperation in policing