Citizens’ Accounts of Police Use of Force and its implication for Trust in the Police

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Despite a wealth of literature covering police abuse of power and excessive use of force in the developed West, a major challenge in socio-legal literature is the paucity of empirical research that accurately assess the same constructs in post-colonial African society. The few existing studies have shown that the police in developing countries are more likely to abuse their powers and are largely not accountable to the public. The current study presents an important attempt to empirically assess what is known and what needs to be learned to better understand and prevent police abuse and the use of excessive force; and how the use of force variables influence trust in the police. Since there is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of police use of force, in this current study a context-specific constructs that are peculiar to police-citizen relations in Nigeria were adopted for the data analysis. The result confirmed that police abuse and the use of excessive force have negative effect on trust in the police. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Issue number2
Early online date10 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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