Police Relations with Minority Ethnic Communities Essay

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Police Relations with Minority Ethnic Communities

The Macpherson report was published in 1999 amidst problems of racial inequality and a lack of faith in the police amongst minority ethnic communities. There is an ongoing debate on whether Macpherson’s report was a help or a hindrance with regards to minority ethnic relations and the police; it is this dispute that the essay shall examine. To begin with the paper will look at the problems, which existed prior to Sir William Macpherson’s publication and which led to the publication of his report. It will then proceed to examine the failures of the Scarman report, in order to look at both the prior problems and failures regarding the 1981 Scarman
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The Bradford riots in 1995, and other public outcries showed the growing animosity that was being felt toward the police by minority ethnic communities. Another factor, which led the opinions of minority ethnic citizens of the police to become additionally hostile, is the ever advancing statistical and research evidence of racism within the police force. In 1978 Stuart Hall et al showed most clearly how, largely on the basis of pre-existing stereotypes minority ethnic people (in particular black people) were being criminalized and subjected to extraordinary policing and punishment. Both these factors increased the feelings of hatred for the police amongst minority ethnic communities. This was then furthered by the subsequent failings of the Scarman report. These included his failure to explain properly in his report the main reason why black people were so angry with the police this was to do with the oppressive policing that they were being subjected to. He was unsuccessful in looking at police powers (particularly stop and search) (Bridges 1982, Howe 1988 cited in Bowling et al 2002) and most importantly he failed to take a proper account of ‘institutional racism’. Consequently because of the growing