The effective use of social media in crime detection and prevention: The promotion of public trust in the U.A.E police- the case of the Abu Dhabi police
Al Baloushi, Awad
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The social media provided police agencies with many worth capabilities to promote their crime control activities, which grounded in gaining the trust of the citizens. The literature review unearthed a lack of empirical studies on examining the potential role of Facebook (FB) users’ trust in facilitating crime information sharing with the police through various social media platforms. This study endeavoured to replenish this knowledge gap by identifying the causes and factors that could build Facebook users’ trust in participating in the Abu Dhabi Police FB regarding crime information sharing. The study developed a conceptual model based on the e-servicescapes concept of Harris and Goode (2010) and Harris and Ezeh (2008), which considered trust, communication efficiency, and customer’s purchase intention as crucial factors for successful online service, while Hohl’s work (2011) tested trust in police from a citizen perspective. The study employed FB, due to its global popularity, to investigate i) possible integration of FB as a tool in crime detection based on gained public trust; and ii) social acceptance towards disclosure of crime news on the ADP’s FB. The developed model answered these research questions i) How did the ADP employ FB in police-community communication to gain the desired public trust?, and ii) Did the gained public trust play a role in driving the users’ interest in sharing information regarding the detection of non-serious crimes? The mixed-method addressed these questions. The survey participants (n=300) retrieved from the ADP’s database and conducted interviews with FB experts (n=20). The generated findings revealed that graphic design, functionality, content quality, and secure access to the ADP’s FB page were crucial in building users’ trust to support participation intention regarding non-serious crime issues. The findings illustrated demographic features of the survey participants, where the males between 40-49 years represented 77.51% of the men (n=169), whereas females between 30-39 years represented 76.93% of women (n=39) whose trust motivated them to participate regularly in the ADP’s FB. The study concluded that the gained trust of FB users enhanced reliable information sharing dedicated to non-serious crime detection. This study contributed to developing a police FB model to explain how the ADP officers considered the impact of public trust on deploying FB in their policing routines regarding non-serious crime detection. Keywords: Public trust; Police social media; Facebook; Non-serious crimes; Crime information sharing; Participation intention; Socio-cultural norms; the UAE.
PhD Thesis- School of Management
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