Data published by the United Kingdom's Ministry for Justice clearly shows that, compared to persons who were White, members of racial minorities in England, particularly Blacks, were far more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. The question is whether such racial disparity in stops and searches could be justified by racial disparities in offending? Or whether the disparity in stop and searches exceeded the disparity in offending? This paper proposes a method for measuring the amount of excess in racial disparity in police stop and searches. Using the most recently published Ministry of Justice data (for 2007/08) for Police Areas in England and Wales it concludes that while in several Areas there was no excess to racial disparity in police stop and searches, there was, on the basis of the methodology proposed in the paper, evidence of such excess in some Police Areas of England and Wales.
|Journal||Journal of Quantitative Criminology|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2011|
Bibliographical noteReference text: Alpert, G., Smith, M., and Dunham, R. (2004), "Towards a Better Benchmark: Assessing the Utility of Not-at-Fault Traffic Crash Data on Racial Profiling", Justice Research and Policy, 6, pp. 25-55.
Becker, G.S. (1957), The Economics of Discrimination, Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Bourguignon, F. (1979), "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures'', Econometrica, 47, pp. 901-20.
Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C.M., and Wittenbrink, B. (2002), "The Police Officers Dilemma: Using Ethnicity to Disambiguate Potentially Threatening Individuals", Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, pp. 1314-1329.
Elliott, D.S. (1994), "Serious Violent offenders: Onset, Developmental Course, and Termination", Criminology, 32, pp. 1-22.
Elmslie, B. and Sedo, S. (1996), "Discrimination, Social Psychology and Hysterisis in the Labor Markets'', Journal of Economic Psychology, 17, pp. 465-78.
Engel, R. and Canlon, J. (2004), "Examining the Influence of Drivers' Characteristics During Traffic Stops with Police: Results from a National Survey", Justice Quarterly, 21, pp. 49-90.
Farrell, A. and McDevitt, J. (2006), "Racial Profiling Research: a Decade of Research", presented at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Los Angeles.
Farrell, A. and McDevitt, J. (2010), "Identifying and Measuring Racial Profiling by the Police", Sociology Compass, 4, pp. 77-88.
Fiske, S.T. (1998), "Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination", in D.T. Gilbert, S.T. Fiske, and G. Lindzey (ed), Handbook of Social Psychology, New York: McGraw Hill, pp. 357-411.
Graham, S. and Lowery, B.S. (2004), "Priming Unconscious Racial Sterotypes About Adolescent Offenders", Law and Human Behavior, 28, pp. 483-504.
Greene, H.T. and Gabbidon, S.L. (2009), Encyclopedia of Race and Crime, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Greenwald, H. (2003), Police Vehicle Stops in Sacramento, CA: Second of Three Reports, Planning and Development: Los Angeles CA: University of Southern California.
Home Office (1999), The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, London: The Stationery Office.
Lamberth, J. (1998), "Driving While Black: A Statistician Proves that Prejudice Still Rules the Road", Washington Post, 16 August, p. c01.
Lowrey, B.S., Hardin, C.D., and Sinclair, s. (2001), "Social Influence Effects on Automatic Racial Prejudice", Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, pp. 842-85.
Ministry of Justice (2009), Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System, London: Ministry of Justice (http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics.htm).
McConville, M., Sanders, A., and Leng, R. (1991), The Case for the Prosecution, London: Routledge.
McConville, M., Sanders, A., and Leng, R. (1997), "Descriptive or Critical Sociology'', British Journal of Criminology, 37, pp. 347-58.
Petrocelli, M., Piquero, A.R., Smith, M.R. (2003)< "Conflict Theory and Racial Profiling: An Empirical Analysis of Police Traffic Stop Data", Journal of Criminal Justice, 31, pp. 1-11.
Phelps, E.S. (1972), "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism'', American Economic Review, 62, pp. 659-61.
Piquero, A.R., Farrington, D.P., and Blumstein, A. (2003), "The Criminal Career Paradigm", Crime and Justice, 30, pp. 359-506.
Reitzel, J. and Piquero, A. (2006), "Does it Exist? Studying Citizens' Attitudes of Racial Profiling", Police Quarterly, 9, 161-83.
Resist Initiative International (2007), Branded 'Born' Criminals: Racial Abuses Against Denotified and Nomadic Tribes in India, Resist Initiative International: Puri, Orissa. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/resist.pdf
Ryder, M. (2009), "The Police Need to Stop and Think About Stop and Search", The Observer, 3 May 2009.
Sampson, R.J. and Wilson W.J. (2009), "Towards a Theory of Race, Crime, and Urban Inequality", in H.T. Greene and S.L. Gabbidon, S.L. (ed) Encyclopedia of Race and Crime, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 37-54.
Sharp, C. and Budd, T. (2003), Minority Ethnic Groups and Crime: Findings from the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey 2003, London: Home Office.
Smith, D.J. and Gray, J. (1983), Police and People in London: vol. 4, The Police in Action, London: The Policy Studies Institute.
Smith, D.J. (1997), "Case Construction and the Goals of Criminal Process'', The British Journal of Criminology, 37, pp. 319-46.
Theil, H.(1967), Economics and Information Theory, Amsterdam: North-Holland.
- Racial disparity
- racial discrimination
- inequality measures