By analysing French and German police stop and search on the streets based on embedded observations in police patrols and findings of a large school survey, this article comparatively questions their determinants. Control practices diverge in their frequency: the German police officers control less proactively than their French counterparts. The targets of controls also differ: a concentration on visible minorities is much more pervasive among the French police officers. These divergences may be explained by contrasted professional orientations, especially the importance given to the crime control agenda, and state/society relation.
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