Citizen participation in the police domain: The role of citizens' attitude and morality

Wendy Schreurs* (Corresponding Author), José H. Kerstholt, Peter W. de Vries, Ellen Giebels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


Although there is a large potential of citizen capital in fighting crime and creating safer neighborhoods, in reality, only a small fraction of citizens is actively participating. This study examines the relationship between different types of actual participation behavior in the police domain from a citizen's stance and 3 different but interconnected psychological drivers: the attitude toward citizen participation, moral values, and moral emotions. A total of 217 Dutch citizens filled out an online questionnaire, assessing these drivers and the actual participatory actions they engaged in over the past year. The results show that 4 broad categories of participation behavior can be distinguished: social control (e.g., correcting others regarding their behavior); responsive participation (e.g., calling the police); collaborative participation (e.g., meeting with a police officer); and detection (e.g., joining a neighborhood watch). As expected, moral values had an indirect influence on participation via attitude and moral emotions. The attitude toward citizen participation was positively related to all four types of reported behavior, while the influence of moral emotions only related to social control and responsive behavior. These results can be used in the design and testing of interventions to stimulate citizen participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-789
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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