La confianza policial en la ciudadanía. El caso de la Policía de la Generalitat-Mossos d’Esquadra

Requena Hidalgo, Jesús
Trust is a key attribute in any social relationship, also in the one that occurs regarding police interactions with citizens. Everything that can be expected from this type of relationship –mainly the public's trust in the police and the subsequent citizen collaboration with the police– depends, to a large extent, on the police's trust in the citizenry. The available empirical evidence indicates that mistrust is a key element of police culture and that it is also related to levels of generalized trust in society as a whole. Firstly, this Thesis proposes (1) to verify if what the specialized literature indicates about police confidence in citizens, that mistrust is a particularly prominent trait in police personality, can be applied to the Catalan police or, more specifically, to the Police of the Generalitat-Mossos d'Esquadra. Secondly, its aim is to identify the different dimensions of police (mis)trust and know how it is expressed in the social structure. Finally, it attends to identify the explanations that the police officers give of the modulation of the levels of trust in the public in order to establish what distrust depends on. The analysis of the police discourse recorded in discussion groups in which police officers assigned to territorial services participate reveals that, indeed, according to the bibliography on which the research is based, Mossos recognize themselves as distrustful of citizenship, more suspicious than their fellow citizens. (Dis)trust is organized on the basis of a set of preventions in which the risk of suffering a physical aggression stands out, particularly the risk of dying in the line of duty, and that it is expressed in a non-homogeneous way in the social structure. The police explanation of (dis)trust articulates elements which refer to individual traits of police officers, especially seniority, due to their relationship with experience; it refers to organizational or occupational aspects, amongst the type of work that is done stands out, and it is related to ecological aspects, such as the perceived conflict of certain environments and the rural-urban differentiation ​
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