What affects perceptions of hostile treatment by police, characterized by feelings such as humiliation and intimidation? Is it what the police do to the citizen, or is it about how they do it? The important effects of procedural justice are well documented in the policing literature. Yet, it is not clear how high-policing tactics, coupled with procedural justice, affect one's sense of hostile treatment: is it the case that what the police do does not matter as long as they follow the principles of procedural justice, or do some invasive or unpleasant tactics produce negative emotions regardless of the amount of procedural justice displayed by the officer? In the present study we examine this question in the context of security checks at Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel. Using a survey of 1,970 passengers, we find that the behavioral elements of procedural justice are an important antidote, mitigating the negative effects of four “extra” screening measures on the perceived hostility of the checks. At the same time, two security measures retain an independent and significant effect. We discuss the implications of our findings and hypothesize about the characteristics of policing practices that are less sensitive to procedural justice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science