Trust in police and the neighbourhood context: A study of policing in Melbourne

Elise Sargeant, Lorraine Mazerolle, Rebecca Wickes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Trust in police is foundational to the capacity for police to do their job well. When people trust police they are more likely to cooperate, comply with directives and obey the law. Research in the US and the UK suggest that trust in police (including the implicit belief that police are effective and procedurally just) varies significantly across different neighbourhoods. In this paper we examine the neighbourhood context of trust in police across 149 suburbs in Melbourne, Australia. We find that perceptions of trust, procedural justice and police effectiveness are generally high, and do not vary a great deal across neighbourhoods in Melbourne. We conclude that city-level contextual factors and the unique structure of Australian policing help explain these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalThe Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • procedural justice
  • police effectiveness
  • trust in police
  • neighbourhoods

Cite this