Technology and Police Legitimacy

Elizabeth Aston (Lead / Corresponding author), Helen Wells, Ben Bradford, Megan O'Neill

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    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).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPolicing in Smart Societies
    Subtitle of host publicationReflections on the Abstract Police
    EditorsAntoinette Verhage, Marleen Easton, Sofie De Kimpe
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030836856
    ISBN (Print)9783030836849
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Publication series

    NamePalgrave's Critical Policing Studies
    ISSN (Print)2730-535X
    ISSN (Electronic)2730-5368


    • Technology
    • Police legitimacy
    • 'Abstract police'


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