Policing, “race” and racism Rebekah Delsol and Michael Shiner
Key reading Bowling, B., and Phillips, C. (2007) ‘Disproportionate and Discriminatory: Reviewing the Evidence on Police Stop and Search’, The Modern Law Review, 70(6): 936-961 Delsol, R. and Shiner, M. (2006) ‘Regulating Stop ad Search: A Challenge for Police and Community Relations in England and Wales’, Critical Criminology, 14:241-263 Lea, J. (2000) ‘The Macpherson Report and the Question of Institutional Racism’, The Howard Journal, 39(3): 219-233 Sanders, A., and Young, R. (2006) Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press Reiner, R (2000) The Politics of the Police, Oxford University Press Rowe, M. (2007) Policing Beyond Macpherson: Issues in Policing, Race and Society, Willan
A 'sort of revenge' against the police • 85% of respondents to Reading the Riots study said policing was an "important" or "very important" factor in why the riots happened • Again and again, rioters from different parts of the country described the police as a "gang” • Shooting of Mark Duggan resonates with more mundane, routine abuse of police powers • www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/05/riots-revenge-against-police
Profiles of the profiled www.stop-watch.org/news-events/25/Profiles-of-the-Profiled.html
Policing and the legitimate use of force “The only reason to maintain police in modern society is to make available a group of persons with a virtually unrestricted right to use violent and, when necessary, lethal means to bring certain types of situations under control. That fact is as fundamentally offensive to core values of modern society as it is unchangeable. To reconcile itself to its police, modern society must wrap it in concealments and circumlocutions that sponsor the appearance that the police are either something other than what they are or are principally engaged in doing something else… To the extent that these circumlocutions worked, they worked by wrapping police in aspirations and values that are extremely powerful and unquestionably good” Klockars, C.B. (1988) ‘The Rhetoric of Community Policing’, in J.R. Greene and S. Mastrofski (eds) Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality?, Praeger, reprinted in T. Newburn (2005) Policing: Key Readings, Willan
Procedural justice and legitimacy “If people perceive the police to be procedurally fair and if they trust their motives in behaving the way that they do, all current evidence suggest they are not only more likely to actively cooperate by reporting crime, cooperating in investigations, providing witness evidence, even intervening in situations of low-level deviance and incivility. They are also more likely to defer to officer’s instructions and obey the laws that the police in many ways still embody. In the long run, the fight against crime might be more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and certainly more ethically served by treating the public with fairness, dignity, and respect than by instigating another ‘crack-down’ on crime”. Jackson, J., and Bradford, B. (2010) ‘What is Trust and Confidence in the Police?’, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 4(3): 241-248. Bradford, B. (2011) Assessing the Impact of Police-initiated Stop Powers on Individuals and Communities: the UK Picture www.jjay.cuny.edu/centers/race_crime_justice/4788.php
Stafford Scottwww.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/16/voices-tottenham-marginalised?newsfeed=true Martin Luther King once said that riots gave a voice to the voiceless; but the voices of those who felt moved to take to the streets in August are still very much unheard. The lessons from the 80s should tell us that ignoring them will come at a cost. These people are the "already marginalised", or the offspring of the "already marginalised": the ones who were excluded from school in disproportionate numbers; who were arrested and convicted under "sus" laws in disproportionate numbers; who are being stopped and searched in disproportionate numbers. They see themselves as victims too: to further marginalise them will only make them feel squeezed between a rock and an even harder place. As far as they are concerned, they are being left with no alternative but to lash out.
Policing against black peopleInstitute of Race Relations, 1987: 1 As we pointed out to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure in 1979, throughout the 1970s a consistent pattern had developed of police overmanning of black events, police raids on black clubs and meeting places, and police concentration in predominantly black localities. Since then this pattern of overpolicing appears to have continued and intensified through a variety of measures: mass ‘stop-and-search’ operations in black areas; large-scale and coordinated raids on black homes and meeting places; routine patrolling of the inner city with riot squads (with the threat, held in reserve, of plastic bullets, CS gas and other such weapons for any serious outbreak of disorder), all underpinned at one level by continuous intelligence-gathering and surveillance, and at another by skilful use of the tabloid press to convey the police view to the wider public.
Regulationof stop and search • Complaints procedure • PACE, 1984 – Code A • Reasonable suspicion • The recording criterion
Reasonable suspicionwww.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police/operational-policing/pace-codes/pace-code-a?view=Binary Reasonable grounds for suspicion depend on the circumstances in each case. There must be an objective basis for that suspicion based on facts, information, and/or intelligence which are relevant to the likelihood of finding an article of a certain kind…Reasonable suspicion can never be supported on the basis of personal factors. It must rely on intelligence or information about, or some specific behaviour by, the person concerned. For example, other than in a witness description of a suspect, a person’s race, age, appearance, or the fact that the person is known to have a previous conviction, cannot be used alone or in combination with each other, or in combination with any other factor, as the reason for searching that person. Reasonable suspicion cannot be based on generalisations or stereotypical images of certain groups or categories of people as more likely to be involved in criminal activity. A person’s religion cannot be considered as reasonable grounds for suspicion and should never be considered as a reason to stop or stop and search an individual.
Exceptional powers that don’t require reasonable suspicion • Section 60, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 • www.runnymedetrust.org/events-conferences/econferences/ethnic-profiling-in-uk-law-enforcement/the-report/young-people-and-section-60/section-60-stop-and-search-powers.html • Section 44 and 47A, Terrorism Act 2000 • Gillan and Quinton vs. ukwww.ucc.ie/law/blogs/ccjhr/2010/01/gillan-quinton-v-uk-ecthr-rules-uk.html • www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/28/terrorism-police-stop-search-arrests. • Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000 • www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/may/26/terrorism-act-schedule-7
Institutional racism,Lawrence inquiry The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes, and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people.
Institutional racism /cont. • Investigation was marred “by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership by senior officers”(para 46.1) • Symptomatic of broader problem of institutional racism, which exists “both in the Metropolitan Police Service and in other Police Services and other institutions countrywide” (para 6.39) • “We hope and believe that the average police officer and average member of the public will accept that we do not suggest that all police officers are racist and will both understand and accept the distinction we draw between overt individual racism and the pernicious and persistent institutional racism which we have described’”(para 6.46) • Police stops and Recommendation 61
Stop and Search, section 1 PACE etc., England and Wales, 2009/10 Ministry of justice (2011) Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2009/10, London: Ministry of justice http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics-and-data/criminal-justice/race.htm
Explaining disproportionality? • Benchmarking - available populations • Waddington, et al., ‘In Proportion: Race, and Police Stop and Search’, British Journal of Criminology, 44(6): 889-914 • Reliability of records – back covering • Black criminality • But, what about stop and account? • In 2008/9, disproportionality: • 2.8 (Black) • 1.4 (Asian) • 1.8 (Mixed) • 0.8 (Other)
The failure of regulation • Since the introduction of PACE • Massive increase in use of stop and search • Reduction in the arrest rate • Ongoing problem of disproportionality • Growth of exceptional powers • Limited impact of the Lawrence Inquiry • Foster, J., Newburn, T., and Souhami, A. (2005) Assessing the Impact of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, London: Home Office • Shiner, M. (2010) ‘Post-Lawrence Policing in England and Wales: Guilt, Innocence and the Defence of Organisational Ego’, British Journal of Criminology, 50(5): 935-953
What’s changed? “The blunt reality, more than a decade after Macpherson and several years after the reforms were implemented, is that aggregate- measured levels of disproportionality for grounds-based searches have not improved. Moreover compared to the later 1990s, the situation has become worse for black and Asian people. The relative chances of people in these groups being searched, compared to whites have apparently increased.” Miller, J. (2010) ‘Stop and Search in England and Wales: A Reformed Tactic or Business as Usual? British Journal of Criminology, 50(5): 954-974.
Backlash • Abolition of requirement to record stop and account • Reduced requirements for recording of stop and search “Anybody who had read the Macpherson report would recognise an institution that was treating people in a very monochrome way. I don’t necessarily believe there was anything racist about the activities of the Metropolitan police in relation to the Lawrences. What the investigators did was they treated the Lawrence’s as they treated a whole range of working-class people and they just did not understand the expectations and experiences of the black community. That is what has changed.” Sir Ian Blair (April 2009)
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