Abstract / Introduction
This research explores the complexities of the relationship between the police and young black people. This includes considerations on how young people specifically, young black minority ethnic groups are shaped by government policies and its agents, the police.
Published research supports the notion that Black young people continue to be affected by a lack of services such as education, employment as well as other social inequalities. In addition, the stop and search practices have caused much damage to BME groups and has impacted negatively on the relationship between the police and Black communities. This thesis explores the issue of Black young people within a historical and social policy context, as well as exploring the views of young Black people and the police.
There is a significant body of published research about policing in general. There are however not many in depth research studies on a particular police setting about the experiences of white and black youths and how they are affected by policing. This research explores young people’s thoughts on exactly this theme.
The empirical research was derived from qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 18 police officers, and 17 young people taken from diverse and economically active areas of London. The findings supports published research of police discriminatory practices to explain the disproportionate treatment of black young people within the criminal justice system. It also highlighted the feelings and the effect of police stop on the individuals being stopped. This study therefore suggests a move away from the notion that black young people are criminals to involving them as contributors to social policy by giving them a true voice in policing and social policy making process.