Procedural justice in victim-police interactions and victims' recovery from victimisation experiences

Irina Elliott, Stuart Thomas, James Ogloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The vast majority of studies to date have documented a negative impact associated with contacts between the police and victims of crime. In contrast, this qualitative study examined how victim-police interactions, specifically perceptions of procedural justice (fair treatment by police) can help victims reduce the trauma associated with the crime and help them recover from the negative psychological consequences of victimisation experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted with 110 people who had reported a crime (personal or property) to the police during the previous year. The findings indicated that validation of victimisation experiences by the police was beneficial in addressing the negative psychological consequences of crime by giving victims a sense of closure, empowerment, and making them feel safer. Moreover, the validation of victimisation experiences by the police was vitally important to the victims of crime as it was seen as an indication of their value in and a broader validation from a wider community. This study suggests that the processes associated with reporting crimes to the police may be essential for the victims' recovery from their victimisation experiences. Implications for policy development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-601
Number of pages14
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014


  • procedural justice
  • therapeutic jurisprudence
  • victim-police interactions

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