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About this book

This insightful book examines the allegations against the professionalism, transparency, and integrity of law enforcement toward minority groups, from a global perspective. It addresses the challenges inherent in maintaining strong ties with members of the community, and draws attention to obstacles in ensuring public confidence and trust in rule of law institutions. Most importantly, the book provides insight into mechanisms and proposals for policy reform that would permit enhanced police-community partnership, collaboration and mutual respect.

Acknowledging the consistency of this concern despite geographic location, ethnic diversity, and religious tolerance, this book considers controversial factors that have caused many groups and individuals to question their relationship with law enforcement. The book examines the context of police-community relations with contributed research from Nigeria, South Africa, Kosovo, Turkey, New Zealand, Mexico, Scandinavia and other North American and European viewpoints. It evaluates the roles that critical factors such as ethnicity, political instability, conflict, colonization, mental health, police practice, religion, critical criminology, socialism, and many other important aspects and concepts have played on perceptions of policing and rule of law.

A valuable resource for law enforcement practitioners and researchers, policy makers, and students of criminal justice, Policing and Minority Communities: Contemporary Issues and Global Perspectives confronts crucial challenges and controversies in policing today with quantitative and qualitative research and practical policy recommendations.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Policing and Minority Communities

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Evaluating Police-Community Relations Globally

Abstract
Since the inception of the policing profession in the 1820s, Sir Robert Peel envisioned an entity that was reliant on public input and involvement in the prioritization of police organizational responsibilities and tasks. However, many have alleged that the police are mere pawns of the political or royal elite, and that criminal laws have been created and police officials have been deployed to control the lower classes and minority and other under-represented groups. This is made clearest when public perceptions of the police have been evaluated. Almost consistently, members of minority groups and those socio-economically challenged have conveyed lower and diminished opinions of law enforcement. The concepts of ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’ in the police will be evaluated and contemporary viewpoints will be outlined.
James F. Albrecht

Chapter 2. International Attitudes to Teaching Religion and Faith and the Policing of Minority Communities

Abstract
This chapter will critically examine the role that the teaching of religion and faith issues play in the education and training of contemporary police officers around the world, in the context of histories of ethnic, racial, and other sectional conflicts and attempts to reduce them. The chapter first details the history of representative bureaucracy and efforts to reflect the beliefs and values of minorities in government administration. Secondly, the rationale and methods used in this exploratory study into the teaching and training of police officers in matters of religion and faith is detailed. Thirdly, the chapter will summarise the attitude to these matters in different policing jurisdictions and finally, provide case studies of some of the policing problems experienced in various jurisdictions, which touch on matters of religion and faith and whether the education and training of police officers address any of these matters in St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Britain, and if so how.
Perry Stanislas, Kim Sadique

Chapter 3. Police Leadership During Challenging Times

Abstract
The police globally are facing considerable challenges due to the transnational nature of crime and the ease of committing serious offences through cyber-criminality from a safe and remote location. Modern technology has assisted police in preventing crime and identifying perpetrators, but has also provided criminals with a new tool to commit theft and inflict damage. The threat of terrorism, both domestic and global in nature, has considerably raised the responsibilities of law enforcement at a time when budgeting for criminal justice matters has been consistently declining. The challenges to contemporary police administrators are dramatic and there is a need for effective leadership. This work will examine these challenges and propose remedies and recommendations to promote organizational efficacy and efficiency.
Magne V. Aarset, Rune Glomseth

Chapter 4. Promoting Enhanced Public Participation and Community Engagement in Policing

Abstract
Many police organizations in western democracies have experienced reductions in street and violent crime rates over the last two decades. This enhanced effectiveness, which has been observed in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom since the mid-1990s, has been correlated with the increased use of technology and the employment of proactive, arrest-oriented strategies. In many jurisdictions, resources have been transitioned away from highly touted community policing efforts to investigative and enforcement units. While many law enforcement experts and administrators have viewed these initiatives as a ‘smarter’ form of policing, some advocates for predominantly minority neighborhoods have frequently alleged racial and ethnic bias and other abusive conduct at the hands of the police, most notably in larger metropolitan centers. The purpose of this paper will be to examine and identify practical options for direct community and victim engagement after highlighting legislation and practices that have been shown to increase transparency and police legitimacy in some western democracies. The findings of this review will support the need to enhance public and victim involvement in criminal justice processes as emphasized within the ‘left realism’ theory of justice and will examine options for incorporating this theory into practice.
James F. Albrecht

Sensitive and Controversial Issues

Frontmatter

Chapter 5. Policing and Special Populations: Strategies to Overcome Policing Challenges Encountered with Mentally Ill Individuals

Abstract
The police in America are often the first representatives of government to interact with the mentally ill, even more so with those who may be prone to violent or irrational behavior. Given the prevalence of mental illness, not only in the general public, but more so in homeless and incarcerated populations, it is obvious that the police must have a more concrete understanding of the plethora of mental illnesses, symptoms and actions that may be encountered. This chapter will examine these concerns in the United States, with specific emphasis placed on the policies and practices of the New York City Police Department.
Theresa C. Tobin

Chapter 6. Ethnicity and Other Demographics Associated with Perceived Police Fairness

Abstract
Past research suggests that ethnicity influences perceptions of the fairness and legality of police action. However, most studies focused on Black and White individuals with less attention to Hispanics, most studies did not control for other demographics, and most studies gave no consideration for differences according to region of the United States. The present study examines how perceptions of police fairness in home and vehicle searches differ according to ethnicity (Black, White, Hispanic), while controlling for other demographics (gender, age, income, prior legal experience), with separate analyses for individuals from the Southwest (Texas) and the Northwest (Pennsylvania). Participants included 334 Texas university students and 643 Pennsylvania university students who completed anonymous surveys to provide demographics and to rate how “reasonable and therefore legal” were eight home search cases and seven vehicle search cases reviewed by the Supreme Court. T-tests revealed that the two regions were similar in perceived police fairness for home searches, but Texas individuals perceived more police fairness in vehicle searches. ANCOVAs conducted separately by region revealed that White individuals perceived more police fairness in both home and vehicle searches than did Black or Hispanic individuals, but only in Pennsylvania. Additionally, more police fairness was reported by individuals who were older (in Pennsylvania), with more income (in Pennsylvania), and with more prior legal experience (in Texas). Present results suggest that ethnicity may not be the primary demographic associated with perceptions of police fairness, with learned personal and regional experiences just as important as predictors.
S. Hakan Can

Chapter 7. The Impact of Police Shootings in the United States on Police-Community Relations

Abstract
Generally no greater factor than police use of force, particularly the firearms, has the potential to evoke the level of acknowledgement or criticism of the police. This is even more true today in the United States, as officer-involved shootings based on interactions with African-American and Black individuals has resulted in diminished trust and confidence in the police, and this is most apparent within minority groups. As such, the need for a comprehensive database that will permit government leaders, policing administrators and the public-at-large to better understand these tragic scenarios is warranted. A model for such a database is posed, followed by an outline of a comprehensive analysis of the results for American police shooting data from 2000 through 2017.
Hasan Arslan

Chapter 8. Search and Seizure Jurisprudence: Community Perceptions of Police Legitimacy in the United States

Abstract
Perceptions of police legitimacy have a significant impact on reported crime rates and public order, particularly as it relates to police searches and seizures. Research has shown that variations in community demographics play a vital role in how the police are perceived by their constituents, as well as how crime is differentially enforced in these communities. One limitation from this line of research is the tendency to focus on racial differences (e.g., Black vs. White), with less attention devoted to ethnic variations. This study examines how perceptions of police searches and seizures (as defined by U.S. Supreme Court case law) compare in a majority-Hispanic community in the Southwest and a majority-White community in the Northeast. We also explore the differential perceptions toward police legitimacy as defined by the type of police search or seizure; that is, whether vehicle stops and searches are viewed as more or less legitimate compared to person and residential searches and whether such views vary according to race and ethnicity, as well as region. Results indicate that perceptions of police search legality are mediated by region. Differences in racial perceptions of the police were found among respondents in the Northeast, with African-Americans least likely to favor police search policies compared to Hispanics and Whites. However, no such differences were found in the Southwest. The findings are discussed within the larger context of police-community relations research.
S. Hakan Can, Durant Frantzen

North American Perspectives

Frontmatter

Chapter 9. Diversity and Policing in Canada

Abstract
This chapter discusses the diversity that exists within Canadian policing. While historically, police services have been comprised of Caucasian males; today police services are attempting to mirror the diverse landscape that represents Canada. Women, visible and cultural minorities, Indigenous people and LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender) individuals are represented at various levels within police services across the nation. Police recruiting initiatives are focused upon creating a workplace that proportionately reflects the community being served. Canadian policing services are responding to the challenges that come with ever changing cultural norms and values within society. This chapter also outlines the complexities associated with policing a diverse nation and how Canadian police services are attempting to address these issues. Indigenous peoples and their unique policing needs are discussed at length. It is suggested that the lessons learned from policing Indigenous peoples in Canada may serve as a valuable template in policing diverse communities.
Richard Parent, Catherine Parent

Chapter 10. The Impressive Impact of Project Illumination on Police-Community Relations in Charleston, South Carolina

Abstract
In an effort to enhance police and community relations, the Charleston Police Department in the American state of South Carolina, in collaboration with respected community leaders and organizations, developed Project Illumination. The basis of the program was to directly engage all groups within the metropolitan community and provide an effective avenue for conveying concerns and outlining public priorities. Specific attention was made to ensure that all minority and under-represented groups were involved. The project was considered a resounding success as the public was permitted to identify and provide direct input into Charleston Police Department strategies and policy development.
Robert Jacobs, Margaret Seidler, Kylon Middleton, Gregory Mullen, Gregory Whitaker

Chapter 11. Policing Native American Lands in the United States

Abstract
The indigenous populations in the United States, Native Americans, have experienced a unique form of governance as their federally assigned lands are designated as sovereign. However, there is direct involvement of federal law enforcement on those lands under many circumstances. In addition, many tribal groups have coordinated their own jurisdictional law enforcement and criminal justice processes, often using traditional laws and tribal practices to remedy disputes between parties, even when issues may reach the criminal level. The history and progress of these developments will be outlined in detail.
Robert Morin, Colleen Morin

Chapter 12. Law Enforcement Challenges Along the Mexican-American Border in a Time of Enhanced Migration Control

Abstract
Addressing issues pertaining to voluntary undocumented migrants who enter the United States is increasingly touted as a concern that should involve local and state police agencies, not just federal law enforcement. It is made clear that United States policy and response to immigrating populations from Mexico and further south utilizes a unique application of civil law proceedings that simultaneously appear to integrate elements of criminal law and criminal response, as seen fit by United States officials. This has led to misguided outcomes for agencies tasked with addressing immigration issues in the United States. Likewise, competing views between southwestern states and the federal government leave local and state police in a quandary as to how best to navigate expectations placed upon them from the communities they serve and government authorities who set law enforcement priorities.
Robert Hanser, Nathan Moran

International Perspectives

Frontmatter

Chapter 13. The Challenges of Policing Ethnic Minority Communities in Post-Conflict Kosovo

Abstract
Inter-ethnic violence has plagued many areas of the globe, but not many regions have been impacted by the level of violence and atrocity that has been documented during the conflicts following the collapse of the Yugoslavian Republic. In particular, the clash between Serbian Christians and Muslim Albanians in the Serbian region of Kosovo resulted in international military intervention and the rare incidence of United Nations governance in that previously unsettled area. As a direct result, a fully functional criminal justice sector and ethnically balanced Kosovo Police now serve the region. But these efforts have not come without regional geo-political differences and disagreement. The recent initiatives undertaken by the Kosovo government and police to enhance inter-ethnic relations have been outlined in detail.
Michael R. Sanchez, Fahredin Verbovci

Chapter 14. New Zealand Police Cultural Liaison Officers: Their Role in Crime Prevention and Community Policing

Abstract
Ethnic Liaison Officers are a part of the Police Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services, which has staff in each police district, but is managed and coordinated from New Zealand Police National Headquarters. The role of this unit, the advice it gives, and the performance of its Liaison Officers has not been evaluated or examined. This article examines the role of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services Liaison Officers, the reasons why these officers choose to enter this specialized area of policing and their understanding of their role. The article begins by describing criminal offending by Maori and then discusses the strategic response of the New Zealand Police to this major social issue. The main strategies used as a response by the police are examined, and the findings of a survey of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Service officers, which was conducted in early 2016, are presented and discussed.
Garth den Heyer

Chapter 15. The 2016 Failed Coup Attempt and its Influence on Policing the Kurdish and Other Ethnic Minorities Across Turkey

Abstract
In 2016, a cadre of military and police officials attempted a coup to overthrow the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. During the following months and years, the government has removed thousands of military and police officials from their positions after allegations of a widespread conspiracy were posed, with many being incarcerated. As a result, the Turkish National Police were forced to conduct dramatic reforms in its organization and practice. In addition, President Erdogan ended peace negotiations with the ethnic Kurds in eastern Turkey, which caused further destabilization to the nation and political processes. The challenges posed by these events will be described and analyzed in detail.
Hasan Arslan

Chapter 16. Police Strategies for Dealing with Tribal Conflicts in Nigeria

Abstract
The agitation of tribal groups in Nigeria and policing strategies are interrogated with a view to reappraising Nigerian police effectiveness in providing security generally for society and specific groups within it will be closely examined. Firstly, the insecurity challenges confronting the country, especially in the last few years, will be analyzed. Secondly, the emergence of a policing framework that could be used to improve policing, particularly for ethnic/tribal groups and help to reduce tensions in Nigeria will be detailed. Some of the fundamental problems facing the Nigerian police which have resulted in serious ramifications for the quality of democracy in the country will be outlined.
Amos Oyesoji Aremu, Perry Stanislas

Chapter 17. Whakatupato: Community Policing or the Police Response to a Social Problem in New Zealand?

Abstract
The article discusses the Whatatupato program within the context of the community policing strategies of the New Zealand Police: ‘Prevention First’ and ‘The Turning of the Tide.’ It further explores the wider impact of the delivery of the program and the possibility of it being a catalyst for improving other social problems in rural Maori communities. The first section of the article examines the literature relating to the public’s attitude toward police (ATP) within the context of community policing. The second section presents the major social issues facing Maori and this is followed by a discussion of the two strategies: ‘The Turning of the Tide’ and ‘Prevention First,’ which have been introduced to improve the relationship between the police and the community and to improve the delivery of policing services to the community. These sections are followed by a discussion of the Whakatupato firearms safety program and the reasons that led to its development and implementation. The article concludes with an assessment of the firearms safety program within the framework of community policing and the relationship of the police with the community.
Garth den Heyer

Chapter 18. Policing in the Multi-Cultural and Multi-Ethnic Environment of South Africa

Abstract
South Africa is a diverse country with a notoriously high crime rate. These two variables place exceptional pressure on the police machinery to perform to the liking of every cultural or ethnic grouping in the country. The Police in South Africa do not have specific policing guidelines regarding the policing of minorities. In fact in South Africa’s history the minority White group policed the majority Black group in a Para-militaristic style. After democratisation of South Africa in 1994 the para-militaristic style of policing had to give way to a more human rights welfarist policing approach. The Black majority population took control of the police force and changed it into a police service. New policing philosophies and strategies were introduced such as community policing and sector policing. However in recent years it became evident that this envisaged community based style of policing did not curb the violent crimes in the country. In fact violent crimes are increasing annually and it appears that the South African Police Service (SAPS) are reverting back to a militarised style of policing. At no stage did the police introduce special policing priorities for the minority groups in South Africa. They do however have Immigrants (legal and illegal); some ethnic groups in South Africa (e.g. Venda ethnic group) as well as White people (especially White farmers) are now minority groups in the country. Another vulnerable minority group who needs specialised policing is the LGBTQI-community in society otherwise known as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community. However this minority is currently also not privy to specialised policing in South Africa. The police nonetheless work according to the directions of the South African Constitution, namely that everybody is equal before the law. For this reason no specific minority policing initiatives and policy are in place but there are broad legislative frameworks that can be hazily interpreted that the police are considerate to some minority groups such as the victims of crime. In fact in certain instances police are even guilty of not protecting minorities like illegal Black immigrants from neighbouring countries. To comprehend this archetype of policing one needs to look at the history of policing in South Africa. Also attention should be given to the current status of policing in the country to grasp the reasons why specific policing strategies for minorities are not in place.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Final Thoughts/Epilogue

Frontmatter

Chapter 19. Final Thoughts – Examining Policing Options to Enhance Transparency and Community Trust

Abstract
There is a clear disconnect between the perceptions that members of police organizations generally hold of themselves and the viewpoints posed by members of the public being served. These variations in opinion are even more pronounced when different socio-economic classes and minority and under-represented groups are examined. This obviously is disturbing, since police officials are public servants and the inherent goals of the police profession, as outlined by Sir Robert Peel, were aimed at ensuring organizational compliance with community demands and should therefore be reliant on public input, particularly into priorities and policy. This epilogue will examine these issues in greater detail and reflection.
James F. Albrecht

Backmatter

Additional information