Miller, J.; Arenas, L.; García-España, E. (2019). Regulating Police Stops in Spain: Assessing the Transportability of a Police Reform Model en International Journal of Police Science & Management. Forthcoming.

Published on 10/01/2020

We study how the England and Wales Model (EWM) of police stop reforms was introduced into five Spanish police agencies. The model involves systems of monitoring and accountability using records or “forms” completed by officers during stop encounters, with a copy passed to the person stopped. The model was adapted to fit specific features of the Spanish context. This included a focus on police “identifications” (where identity documents were requested), a type of encounter not found in England and Wales. The Spanish reforms also placed emphasis on recording nationality, rather than ethnicity as used in England and Wales. The latter reflected different norms around recording ethnicity and limitations to available census data in Spain. Reforms were at least partially implemented in in all pilot agencies. However, there was variability in the extent to which communities were engaged, and only one agency adopted a strategic approach to using the data generated by stop forms. During the post-implementation period there were progressive reductions in overall rates of stops and searches and declines in the disproportionate stopping of minorities—suggesting possible reform effects—though there were no consistent improvements in stop effectiveness. Changes may have been related to specific mechanism triggered by reforms among police actors. These include frontline officers adopting a pragmatic response new administrative procedures, as well as managers’ analysis and application of stop data to strategically guide officer deployment. The research suggests that the EWM is a transportable police intervention that may contribute to favorable outcomes in the Spanish context.

McAra, L., & McVie, S. (2005). The usual suspects?:Street-life, young people and the police. Criminal Justice, 5(1), 5-36. doi:10.1177/1466802505050977

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