Stopped, searched and (reasonably) suspicious: young people’s experiences of pro-active policing

Puniskis, Michael John, Porteous, David ORCID logoORCID: and Goodman, Sue (2010) Stopped, searched and (reasonably) suspicious: young people’s experiences of pro-active policing. In: 2nd Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference, 30 Sep - 01 Oct 2010, Cambridge, UK. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


This paper presents and discusses the findings from 27 qualitative interviews with young offenders about their experience of being stopped and searched by the police. According to these accounts, the rationale for stops and the methods and manner adopted by police officers during them are at significant odds with what the law and official guidance states should happen. For example appearance and specifically dress are viewed by these young people as key triggers of police action, officers’ behaviour during searches is described as disrespectful, intimidating and provocative and the police are alleged to discriminate on the grounds of gender, ethnicity and religion. Having illustrated the various contradictions between policy and practice suggested by the interviews, the paper reflects on the validity and significance of such accounts. ‘Reasonable suspicion’, it is contended, is as much a product of stops and searches as it is the justification for them.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information: Event held at Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 7609
Useful Links:
Depositing User: David Porteous
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2011 07:07
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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