Satisfaction with the police : An empirical study of Chinese older citizens in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-399
Journal / PublicationPolicing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2015


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess senior citizens’ satisfaction with police in Hong Kong. It is intended to answer four research questions: are older citizens satisfied with Hong Kong’s police? Do older citizens coming from different communities with variations in income and crime rates differ from other older citizens in their assessments of the police? to what extent can the respondents’ instrumental, expressive, and legitimacy concerns predict their satisfaction with the police? And is there variation in the predictive power of different kinds of concerns (instrumental, expressive, and legitimacy) on respondents’ satisfaction with fairness, integrity, and effectiveness (respectively)? Design/methodology/approach – Findings of the study were based on survey interviews a sample of 1,061 elderly people aged 65 or above in 2013. A multiple-step sampling method was used to collected data from four types of communities according to the household income level of the residents and the community fraud crime rate. Findings – The paper provides empirical insights about how senior citizens rate their level of satisfaction toward the police. Chinese elderly people’s assessment on the police is found connected with their instrumental, expressive, and legitimacy concerns as well as their educational attainment. Research limitations/implications – Several limitations were acknowledged. First, the self-reported data in this study contained bias because of possible distortion in memory. Second, the cross-sectional data used in this study means that causal inferences are difficult to make. Third, the findings from the study have a limited generalizability because data were collected from a small and non-random sample. Practical implications – Since better educated senior citizens are found more critical when rating police effectiveness in fighting crime, police officers may need to think of suitable channels to understand the expectations of the better educated elderly people and to absorb their ideas for improving policing practice. Originality/value – This study is probably the first attempt of assessing the satisfaction with police of a specific target group, i.e. senior citizens in Hong Kong.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese senior citizens, Fear of crime, Satisfaction with the police, Trust in the police, Victimization