Police recruits and perceptions of trust in diverse groups

Toby Miles-Johnson, Sharon Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Trust is critical in ensuring public co-operation with police and in turn building police legitimacy. Trust has been regarded as especially critical when police have sought to develop more positive interactions with diverse groups. Understanding how police officers perceive others and how this shapes trust in members of diverse groups is still developing. This study contributes valuable information regarding police perceptions of trust in minority group members; an area under-researched in policing studies, particularly in an Australian context. To understand how police recruit perceptions of socialization, interaction, and living and work choices affects their perceptions of trust in diverse groups of people, data were collected from a population of Police Recruits and Protective Service Officers (N = 1609) during pre-service awareness training. These were used in a Stepwise OLS model to ascertain opinions of trust in people distinguished by diverse identities. The results show socializing, and experiencing positive interaction whilst socializing with people from diverse groups, and the age of the participants, has a significant impact on the perceptions of trust police recruits have in members of diverse groups. However, this may not be enough to uphold positive levels of trust over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-328
Number of pages18
JournalPolice Practice and Research: An International Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • diversity
  • Police
  • recruits
  • training
  • trust

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