The regulation and practice of identity controls in Belgium

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


Police stops and identity controls are police practices that have at present become the object of considerable controversy. Although these powers need to be executed for the purpose of preventing/combatting criminality, international research has shown that, instead of responding to these goals, they rather create a feeling of mistrust among the population and threaten to erode police legitimacy.
Belgium has also encountered problems with these police powers, such as complaints filed by human rights organizations or citizens about discriminative/abusive practices and ethnic minorities being stopped more often than others. Nevertheless, hardly any national scientific research on this matter has been carried out so far.
On the basis of the scarce material that exists and our first findings it could be stated that the Belgian controversies are amongst others due to a legislation which is too basic and vague, police officers who have limited knowledge of the procedure regulations, important institutional discrepancies between the various forces and a lack of clarity as to the registration requirements.
With this presentation, we wish to open the debate regarding police stops and identity controls in Belgium by reflecting on the above data and where possible comparing with existing international research and the situation abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 15 Sep 2017
EventESC 2017 - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201716 Sep 2017


ConferenceESC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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