How can criminal justice institutions encourage law-abiding behaviour? What constitutes success in terms of police activity aimed at reducing crime? Answers to questions of this type often revolve around the idea that crime occurs when the criminal justice system provides insufficient likelihood of punishment, or when insufficiently tough sentences are imposed. Mechanisms of coercive social control and credible risks of sanction hope to persuade Homo economicus that — while otherwise desirable — a criminal act is not worth the risk (Tyler, 2008, 2011a; Schulhofer et al., 2011), and police and other criminal justice agents should signal effectiveness, force, a high probability of detection and a swift recourse to justice in order to deter people from committing offences (Hough et al., 2010; Schulhofer et al., 2011; Jackson et al., 2012a).