Guideline 4: Promoting the right culture

Chief officers should promote an organisational culture that encourages the public to participate in neighbourhood policing. They should take steps to ensure that all police contact with colleagues, partners and the public seeks to build trust and is consistent with procedural justice requiring fair decision making and respectful treatment.

Essential elements

Promoting the right culture involves procedural justice, which describes police contact with colleagues, partners and the public that is fair and respectful. It involves:

  • treating people fairly and with dignity and respect

  • giving people a chance to express their views, listening and taking them into account

  • making impartial decisions and explaining how they were reached

  • being open and honest.

Promoting procedural justice should:
  • lead to officers, staff and volunteers treating the public fairly and with respect
  • improve public confidence in the police
  • increase local capacity by increasing the willingness of communities to help the police, be involved and take greater ownership of problems.


Advice and support: putting guidelines into practice

Depending on your role and interest, select the relevant link(s) to download advice and support promoting the right culture.

Supporting material for frontline officers, staff and volunteers

Supporting material for supervisors

Supporting material for senior leaders


Impact evidence for promoting the right culture

The guideline and advice and support for promoting the right culture are underpinned by the following impact evidence:

  • Overall, police interventions that adopt elements of procedural justice – like neighbourhood policing – can improve public trust in the police and increase public participation in policing.
  • People who perceive the police to be fair are more likely to see the police as legitimate and, as a result, report crime and suspicious activity, provide information and not break the law.
  • This relationship has been shown to extend to:
    - increased support for counter terrorism policing

    - reduced support for using violence to solve personal goals.
  • Informal public-initiated contact with the police can have a small, positive effect on trust if the experience is good. Bad experiences tend to have a large, negative effect on trust. Multiple police-initiated encounters are likely to exacerbate negative effects.
  • Police efforts to increase informal contact with young people can have a positive impact on their willingness to help the police.
  • Officers and staff are more likely to value the public and support procedural justice if they feel that their supervisors and senior leaders make fair decisions and treat them with respect and dignity.

Key: Type of evidence
​■■■Evidence from systematic reviews – exhaustive reviews of quantitative studies – selected for their relevance and methods – that make overall assessments of 'what worked' in a range of contexts.
​■■Evidence from rapid evidence assessments – time-limited reviews of studies – selected for their relevance and methods – that provide general overviews of the literature on impact and implementation issues.
​■Evidence from impact evaluations – quantitative studies that make assessments of 'what worked' in particular contexts.
​●Evidence from other research – studies that provide insights on implementation or other issues in particular contexts.


The College of Policing uses cookies to collect and analyse information about the users of this website. We use this information to enhance the content and other services available on the site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing for us to set a small number of cookies. You can manage your preferences for Cookies at any time, for more information please see our Cookies Policy.