Police Stop and Search Practices in Belgium: Amplifying Voices of Urban Youth Experiencing Stop and Search in Belgium and Exploring the Dynamics of Learned Submissiveness

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

Samenvatting

Identity checks are controversial in Belgium. Allegations that police have engaged in
racial profiling practices have led to protests in some major cities and conflict
between the police and young people with minority backgrounds. Academic research
into citizens’ experiences with ID checks by the police is both dated and scarce in
Belgium. Existing studies show that citizens, especially those of North African origin
and Roma heritage, report being both over-policed and treated disrespectfully by the
police. This article presents a state of the art about citizens’ experiences with identity
checks in Belgium, presents findings of two studies on youngsters’ experiences with
stop and search, and casts an analytical eye over the strengths and weaknesses of the
extant scholarship. We theorize that repeated exposure to police encounters, where
youngsters feel compelled to submit to police authority to expedite the process,
results in a state of learned submissiveness (following Seligman’s concept of learned
helplessness). This state is characterized by a sense of powerlessness, coerced
compliance, and a diminished willingness to challenge police actions. We call for
more research into how urban youth perceive the strained relationship with police
and its impact on their self-constructed identities.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)327-350
Aantal pagina's24
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Policing Studies
Volume6
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - 2023

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