This article addresses the debate over the disproportionate representation of black people in the criminal justice system, with particular reference to the link between a person’s race and the process of being stopped on the street by the police. On the basis of a participant observation study of routine police patrol in inner city London, the article explores the influence of race in relation to citizen and officer demeanour, and on the actions taken by police in initiating, processing and terminating a stop. Demeanour and process variables are derived from quantified observational data recorded on codified observation schedules from 213 police stops involving 319 members of the public. Among the findings reported, blacks prove over two and a half times more likely to be stopped than their presence in the local population would suggest, with a higher disproportion in the case of young black men. However, blacks and whites prove equally likely to be calm and civil to police at contact and during processing, and there are scant differences in police demeanour and action toward the two groups.
We are delighted to announce a forthcoming Interlabo on Police, Public and Diversity: Complicated relations. The Interlabo is organised by…Read more
The Belgian TV programme Pano conducted an investigation into police brutality, by examining testimonies, talking to experts and joining a…Read more
Doctoral and Early Career Training School 'Researching the Experiences of Police Stops' - Call for Expressions of Interest
We are beginning to learn more about the practice of stops and searches conducted in public spaces by police officers.…Read more
An action research on the problematic practices and/or mechanisms of police district of Schaerbeek-Evere-St-Josse (PolBruNo). Carroll Tange and Sarah Van…Read more
COST Action COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.
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