Compliance with the law for traditional and grey crimes - A seven country comparison


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Description: Drawing upon data from a representative sample survey in seven European countries the paper builds upon procedural justice theory in three ways. First, a distinction is made between traditional and grey crimes, which (a)differ in their frequency and perceived morality and (b)are related in different ways to perceived risk of sanction and perceived legitimacy. Second, a comprehensive definition of legitimacy is employed that differentiates between (i)police and law and (ii)right to rule and entitlement to be obeyed judgements. Third, the concept of “bounded authority” is added to the framework. The findings indicate qualified support for the normative model of crime control, but only with respect to grey crimes. Furthermore, including “bounded authority” enhances the explanatory power of appropriate police behaviour.


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