Policing racist incidents in Northern Ireland: attitudes and experiences of the PSNI

Patel, T ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2578-3393 2001, 'Policing racist incidents in Northern Ireland: attitudes and experiences of the PSNI' , The Journal of Criminal Justice Research, 1 (2) .

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This article reports on a study which looked at the connectivity between the anti-racist policing agenda of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), when dealing with racially motivated crime involving black and minority ethnic (BME) victims, and the execution of policing duties at operational level. The contribution of this study is in looking at the persistence of racially based views which places BME groups at the margins and in a position which makes them particularly vulnerable to victimization. Here matters of race, racism, risk, victimization, marginalization, and police roles are discussed from a criminological viewpoint. The study, based on the interviewing of 9 operational and specialist serving officers between December 2007 to March 2008, finds that: racist incidents were being taken seriously on a senior management level, but that operational officers especially, tended to equate policing in a racially diverse society, with the need to police BME people themselves. Here, there was a tendency to view the BME communities, especially newer (economic) migrants, as largely deviant and problematic.” In essence, this means that the dominance of social racial stereotypes, which were themselves often negative, problematic and incorrect, are often hard to remove from official policing duties. It is therefore argued that these have the very real potential to hinder policing practice, and in particular the successful policing of racially motivated crime against members of the BME community. Indeed, even with progressive police antiracism policy, there is a tendency to demonize the “marginalized” as trouble makers deserving their station in life and ostracism from society. It is argued that we need to question this view of „allocated marginalization‟, and to dislodge it from its position of power, not only for police practice in Northern Ireland, but also for meaningful consideration in other forces across the world.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Criminal Justice Research
Publisher: The Institute for Criminal Justice Research & Consulting
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2160-2816
Depositing User: Dr Tina G. Patel
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2011 10:38
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 13:06
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/18548

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