The relationship between the police and society is complex. Citizens delegate to the police the legal use of force but at the same time expect them to make use of such force in a fair and proportional way. With increasing cases of police brutality, and particularly police discrimination, becoming public – more than ever the case with cellphone videos going viral – trust in the police is (again) at risk. The greater the trust in the police and the more legitimate they are perceived, the higher the chances are that the population will collaborate and not resist police intervention. Also, today’s police legitimacy seems to be directly related to diversity in our societies. Particularly minorities are more likely to feel represented if the police corps is diverse. This project focuses on the Belgian case, with special attention to the police of Mechelen, and investigates diversity within that police. We will focus more specifically on officers with a migrant background, an absolute minority in a police that is predominantly white. We will interview these officers in order to acquire insight into how they see their role within the organization and how they approach towards migrant minorities. We will also organize focus groups with civil society organizations representing the citizens with a migrant background to discuss how they perceive the work of the police and especially the work of officers with a similar background. This research is planned to start on September 1st 2018 and, in case it is granted, will run for 23 months.
Effective start/end date1/09/181/08/20

    Research areas

  • Diversity, policing minorities, Police organization

ID: 39437350