Although public assessments of the police have become the focal concern of a substantial amount of research efforts since the 1970s, a very small number of studies have analysed public opinions on the Taiwan police. Using survey data collected from three cities and two counties in 2010, this study expands the existing literature by assessing whether Taiwan residents perceptions are distinguishable in terms of procedural-based trust and outcome-based trust and whether both the instrumental and expressive models are predictive of Taiwanese trust in the police. Findings revealed that the Taiwanese tended to conflate procedural-based and outcome-based trust. Both the instrumental model (concerns about safety) and the expressive model (trust in neighbours and perceived quality of life) were significantly linked to Taiwanese trust in the police. Satisfaction with government performance and media influence were also predictive of police trustworthiness. Directions for future research and policy are discussed. (c) The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.