Mechanisms for Eliciting Cooperation in Counter-Terrorism Policing: Evidence from the United Kingdom

Author: 
Aziz Huq
with: 
Tom Tyler and Stephen Schulhofer

This study examines the effects of counterterrorism policing tactics on public cooperation amongst Muslim communities in London, U.K. It tests a procedural justice model developed in the context of studying crime control in the United States. The study reports results of a random-sample survey of 300 closed and fixed response telephone interviews conducted in Greater London’s Muslim community in February and March 2010. It tests predictors of cooperation with police acting against terrorism. Specifically, the study provides a quantitative analysis of how perceptions of police efficacy, greater terrorism threat, and the choice of policing tactics predict the willingness to cooperate voluntarily in law enforcement efforts against terrorism. Cooperation is defined to have two elements: a general receptivity toward helping the police in anti-terror work, and a specific willingness to alert police upon becoming aware of a terror-related risk in a community. We find that procedural justice concerns prove better predictors for both measures of cooperation in counter-terrorism policing among British Muslims. Unlike previous studies of policing in the United States, however, we find no correlation between judgments about the legitimacy of police and cooperation. Rather procedural justice judgments influence cooperation directly.