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Proactive Policing of Youngsters in Germany: Ethnic Differences

Leube, J. (2013) Proactive Policing of Youngsters in Germany: Ethnic Differences.

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Abstract:In order to contribute to the existing literature on racial profiling, the aim of this study was to demonstrate a link between a youngster’s ethnic background and the number of proactive police contacts that he or she experienced in the last 12 months. For this purpose in May 2013 an anonymous self-report survey was conducted in Bochum, Germany with 114 participants at the age between 12 and 25 years. Among the participants were 57% who indicated that a police officer would perceive them as a German youngsters, whereas 43% indicated to be perceived as a non-German youngster. The emphasis was put on explaining why, if so, these minorities have more proactive police contact. By means of a hierarchical regression analysis the goal was to explain to what extent the relationship between ethnicity and number of proactive police contacts is explained by differences in availability on the streets, socioeconomic status, individual and group delinquency. The results of the present study included two major findings concerning the relationship between the ethnicity of youngsters and the number of experienced proactive police contacts in the last 12 months. Firstly, being perceived by a police officer as non-German predicted approximately one proactive police contact more per year than being perceived as German. Secondly, availability on the streets also predicted a higher number of proactive police contacts. More precisely, being one more hour available on the streets per week, predicted about 0.1 more proactive police contacts per year. Differences in availability could not explain the relationship between ethnicity and proactive police contacts to a significant degree. Availability was shown to be an independent factor with unique explanatory power for the number of proactive police contacts. Socioeconomic status, individual and group delinquency did not prove to be significant in this model. The study found significant ethnic differences in the number of proactive police contacts. The results indicate that non-German youngsters experience significantly more proactive police contacts as compared to German youngsters. Even though in this model availability on the streets proved to be a stronger predictor for proactive police contacts than ethnicity, the unequal treatment on the basis of nationality is not tolerable in a democratic society. This stresses the need for policy makers and law enforcement agencies to make use of this evidence by addressing the discrimination of ethnic minorities, where it exists.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:71 sociology
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63259
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