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Outcomes:
  • Procedurally just encounters have far-reaching and positive effects on citizen perceptions of police
  • The citizens that received the experimental condition – the procedurally just encounter – had more positive perceptions of police
  • Not only did citizens in the experimental group think that police were fairer, they had more confidence and trust in police and they reported higher levels of satisfaction with police compared to the citizens that received the control condition
  • A direct replication of the trial is also underway in South Carolina (US), led by CEPS and Griffith University Adjunct Professor Geoff Alpert in close partnership with Professor Lorraine Mazerolle and Drs Emma Antrobus and Sarah Bennett
  • The team is now discussing replication opportunities in New Zealand and Scotland
  • It was the QCET project that created the foundations for Professor Mazerolle’s Australia Research Council Laureate Fellowship, which has since capitalised on the national and international momentum now driving field experimentation in criminology
  • The leadership of the Queensland Police Service is actively considering how the results of the QCET experiment might be used in other areas of police engagement with citizens, particularly in highly volatile encounters that generate a lot of complaints

The Queensland Community Engagement Trial

The Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET) is the world’s first randomised field trial that tested whether procedurally just encounters between the police and citizens can improve citizen perceptions of police. Working closely with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), the research team randomly allocated 60 Random Breath Test (RBT) stationary operations, involving 20,000 breath stops and more than 30 police officers, to the control (business-as-usual) and treatment (procedural justice script) conditions. The experimental treatment RBT encounter involved police following a specific text that operationalised the core ingredients of procedural justice: police fairness, neutrality in police decision making, police treating people with dignity and respect, and giving “voice” to the citizen during the encounter.

Project Value: 
$517 032.00
Funding: 
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS)
Partners: 
Queensland Police Service
Time status: 
Complete
Contact: 
Professor Lorraine Mazerolle (l.mazerolle@uq.edu.au)
Outcomes:
  • Procedurally just encounters have far-reaching and positive effects on citizen perceptions of police
  • The citizens that received the experimental condition – the procedurally just encounter – had more positive perceptions of police
  • Not only did citizens in the experimental group think that police were fairer, they had more confidence and trust in police and they reported higher levels of satisfaction with police compared to the citizens that received the control condition
  • A direct replication of the trial is also underway in South Carolina (US), led by CEPS and Griffith University Adjunct Professor Geoff Alpert in close partnership with Professor Lorraine Mazerolle and Drs Emma Antrobus and Sarah Bennett
  • The team is now discussing replication opportunities in New Zealand and Scotland
  • It was the QCET project that created the foundations for Professor Mazerolle’s Australia Research Council Laureate Fellowship, which has since capitalised on the national and international momentum now driving field experimentation in criminology
  • The leadership of the Queensland Police Service is actively considering how the results of the QCET experiment might be used in other areas of police engagement with citizens, particularly in highly volatile encounters that generate a lot of complaints
Publications and Reports: 

Antrobus, E., Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., & Tyler, T. (Nov. 2012). The Queensland Community Engagement Trial, (QCET): An overview of key findings. Presentation at at the American Society of Criminology 64th Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

Mazerolle, L., Antrobus, E., Bennett, S., & Tyler, T. (2012). Shaping citizen perceptions of police legitimacy: A randomized field trial of procedural justice. Criminology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2012.00289.x

Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., Antrobus, E., & Eggins, E. (2012). Procedural justice, routine encounters and citizen perceptions of police: Main findings from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET). Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8, 343–367. doi: 10.1007/s11292-012-9160-1

Mazerolle, L., Martin, P., & Bennett, S. (2012). Implementing procedurally just approaches to policing … one breath at a time. Translational Criminology, Fall Issue, 6–7.

Mazerolle, L., & Martin, P. (2012). Evidence-based policing and procedural justice. Journal of California Law Enforcement, 46(3), 13–17.

Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., Antrobus, E., & Eggins, L. (2011, June). Key findings of the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (Briefing Paper). Brisbane, Australia: ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., Eggins, E., Antrobus, E., White, G., & Davis, J. (2011, April). Testing police legitimacy…one breath at a time: The Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET) (Technical Report). Brisbane, Australia: ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program/Affiliation: 
Type: 
Randomized Field
Keywords: 
Community
Legitimacy
Number: 
ISSR030042