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Technology and Police Legitimacy

Aston, Elizabeth; Wells, Helen; Bradford, Ben; O'Neill, Megan


Helen Wells

Ben Bradford

Megan O'Neill


Antoinette Verhage

Marleen Easton

Sofie De Kimpe


Through a consideration of the use of mobile devices by the police and the public, this chapter explores some of the potential issues raised by the incorporation of technology. What internal challenges should be considered for police organisations? What impact may the expansion of technologically mediated interactions have on public perceptions of police legitimacy? Whilst there is a large volume of work linking procedural justice in face-to-face interactions to legitimacy, we know little about how this operates online. Employing the concept of the ‘abstract police’ (Terpstra et al., The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 92(4), 339–359, 2019), we consider the potential impact of technology on legitimacy both internally within police organisations and externally between the police and the public. We consider organisational justice and conceptualise legitimacy as dialogic and relational (Bottoms & Tankebe, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 102, 119–170, 2012).

Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 2, 2024
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 43-68
Series Title Palgrave's Critical Policing Studies
Series ISSN 2730-5368
Book Title Policing in Smart Societies
Chapter Number 4
ISBN 978-3-030-83684-9
Keywords technology, police legitimacy, abstract police
Public URL