Optimising the length of random breath tests: results from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial

Mazerolle, Lorraine, Bates, Lyndel, Bennett, Sarah, White, Gentry, Ferris, Jason and Antrobus, Emma (2015) Optimising the length of random breath tests: results from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48 2: 256-276. doi:10.1177/0004865814532661


Author Mazerolle, Lorraine
Bates, Lyndel
Bennett, Sarah
White, Gentry
Ferris, Jason
Antrobus, Emma
Title Optimising the length of random breath tests: results from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial
Journal name Australia and New Zealand Journal of Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8658
1837-9273
Publication date 2015-06
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004865814532661
Volume 48
Issue 2
Start page 256
End page 276
Total pages 21
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Research suggests that the length and quality of police–citizen encounters affect policing outcomes. The Koper Curve, for example, shows that the optimal length for police presence in hot spots is between 14 and 15 minutes, with diminishing returns observed thereafter. Our study, using data from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET), examines the impact of encounter length on citizen perceptions of police performance. QCET involved a randomised field trial, where 60 random breath test (RBT) traffic stop operations were randomly allocated to an experimental condition involving a procedurally just encounter or a business-as-usual control condition. Our results show that the optimal length of time for procedurally just encounters during RBT traffic stops is just less than 2 minutes. We show, therefore, that it is important to encourage and facilitate positive police–citizen encounters during RBT at traffic stops, while ensuring that the length of these interactions does not pass a point of diminishing returns.
Keyword Police legitimacy
Police performance
Procedural justice
Random breath tests (RBTs)
Traffic stops
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 22 May 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Created: Thu, 16 Oct 2014, 13:57:09 EST by Sarah Bennett on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research