Stop and search (S&S) is a worldwide practice carried out by the police which enables police officers to stop a person, prevent him or her from pursuing his or her passage (Bowling & Philips, 2007; Bowling & Weber, 2011) and if necessary, proceed with a search. Two types of S&S approaches can be distinguished: the reactive approach, where the police decide to stop someone as a response to suspicious behaviour or circumstances in order to find proof of criminal activity, and the proactive approach, where the goal is to deter future offences and maintain public order (Murray, 2014). The latter fits well within the current ‘culture of control which aims at spotting risky individuals as soon as possible (van der Leun & van der Woude, 2011). In various European countries S&S has been a source of considerable debate. It us argued that S&S principally targets certain population groups and more specifically ethnic minority groups (ethnic profiling) and youngsters (Delsol & Shiner, 2006; Sollund, 2006). Consequently, S&S is a rather controversial practice, which can cause a negative effect on the public and can affect the legitimacy of the police (Bowling & Phillips, 2007; van der Leun et al., 2014; Quinton, 2013). Despite the heavy debates that exist around S&S in Europe, so far no cross-country scientific research has been carried out on thepractice. Therefore, the main aim of the Action is to exchange and deepen our knowledge and understanding of police stops in Europe.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/18 → 30/09/22|
- stop and search
- ethnic profiling
- police practices
Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023
- Criminal law
- Safety, prevention and police
- Police administration, procedures and practice
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