Flanders: Study of immigrant trust in the police

Flanders: Study of immigrant trust in the police

Turkish immigrants have more trust in the police than the Flemish, and the difference between Moroccan immigrants and the Flemish is negligible, according to a study by Maarten Van Craen and Johan Ackaert, researchers and professor at Hasselt University.  The conducted the study in the former mining towns of Genk and Houthalen-Helchteren and questioned 740 Turkish and Moroccan immigrants and ethnic Belgians from less well-to-do neighborhoods.  The results of the study were published in the Panoptican journal.

"The trust of immigrants in the police is important.  Minorities are confronted with victimhood and trouble more than ethnics.  Cooperation between the police and this community is thus necessary for an excellent police handling.  But the readiness to cooperate with police exists only if there is sufficient trust," says Van Craen.

In contrast to what people might expect, it appears that there is really trust.

61% of Turkish immigrants have much of very much trust in the police.  By Moroccan immigrants and ethnics it is respectively 46% and 49%.

The number of respondents with little or very little trust in the police amounts to 18% among Turkish Belgian, and 23% by Moroccan Belgians and Flemish.

Among the Moroccan and Turkish immigrants the police is lower in the trust hierarchy than the municipal services the local council.

Immigrants who go to the mosque have more trust in the police.  That is comparable to Flemish to go to church.

But whether they have Flemish friends of regularly chat with the Flemish neighbor doesn't have an effect.  More important for trust in the police is the way in which the immigrants feel they are treated by the police, the local council and society as a whole.  Experiencing being treated more negatively than the Flemish and not being informed enough by the municipality affects the trust, just as the feeling of being discriminated at work, school or in the shop.
"It is striking that older immigrants have more trust in the police than young immigrants and that that is because older immigrants feel generally safer.  By the Flemish it is just the opposite,"says Van Craen.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

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