University of Twente Student Theses


Youngsters' ethnicity and its relationship towards proactive policing in England

Dijk, I.C. van and Packiarajah, T.S. (2015) Youngsters' ethnicity and its relationship towards proactive policing in England.

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Abstract:This study aims to identify if a young person’s ethnic background has an effect on the amount of proactive police contact (‘Stop and Search’ and ‘Stop and Question’) they have received over the previous twelve months. The focus is upon students at university level in England from the ages of 18 to 25. To achieve this, an anonymous self-report survey was conducted at Goldsmiths, University of London and the data collection occurred in April 2015 with 203 valid participants in total. The reasoning behind a police officer’s use of Stop and Search and Stop and Question has been evaluated from an extensive literature review and five main explanatory variables have been established: Ethnicity, individual and group delinquency, socioeconomic status and availability. On the basis of this review a model has been developed that interprets the initial relationship of the perceived ethnicity of a youngster and the number of times they have been Stop and Searched & Stop and Questioned by the police. The model demonstrates how the other variables can explain for this relationship. The results of this study found that there was a significant positive correlation between an ethnic minority youngster and the number of proactive police contacts, even after controlling for other factors. This link is based upon the perceived ethnic look of an individual from a police officer’s perspective. Additional explanatory variables, distinct from the direct ethnicity to proactive policing hypothesis, are based on existing literature and provide alternative explanations of why ethnic minority youths could be contacted more by proactive policing. The study has established significant ethnic differences in Stop and Search and Stop and Question for youngsters in England. This cannot be explained by the controlled factors within this study, and raises the serious question of racial profiling in the implementation of such measures. England has had a long history with tackling discrimination in policing, and has tough policies in place to prevent it from happening. However this study suggests that these polices may be ineffective. Investigations into the implementation by police officers and the policymakers themselves should be researched further to be able to fully comprehend why this situation is as it is.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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