Canadian research on public perceptions of police is limited, especially studies examining rural youth. Most research examining youth perceptions and experiences of police, both within and outside of Canada, has been conducted in urban areas. In this article, we highlight findings from a case study of rural youth that explores how youth in remote, rural areas perceive the police and the factors that shape their perceptions. We examine the influence of parents and young people’s own interactions with police on the perceptions youth have of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in a rural Atlantic province, suggesting the impact of vicarious experience on personal views of police. We then highlight experiences of satisfaction and confidence (or a lack thereof) relating to questions of transparency, trust and police legitimacy. Implications for further research on police practice and with youth based in rural regions and wider comparisons with urban contexts are discussed.

, , , ,
Police Practice and Research
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Adorjan, M. (M.), Ricciardelli, R. (R.), & Spencer, D. (2017). Youth perceptions of police in rural Atlantic Canada. Police Practice and Research, 18(6), 556–569. doi:10.1080/15614263.2017.1363961