The lived experience of stop and search in Scotland: there are two sides to every story

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Abstract

This paper presents data emerging from an ethnographic research study that sought to explore the extent to which stop and search procedures in Scotland are underpinned by a focus on procedural justice and the impact they have on young people. Data was collected via participant observation of police deployments and semi-structured interviews with 23 law enforcement officers and 46 young people. The emerging insights suggested that differential views on and approaches to policing in different parts of the country were leading to varying experiences of stop and search and procedural justice. The young people in the east of the country had more positive relationships with the police and a stronger belief in procedural justice. Conversely, the tendency to use stop and search as a deterrent from crime in the west of Scotland resulted in deteriorated relationships, institutionalization of the use of the tactic and a perceived lack of procedural justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-451
Number of pages36
JournalPolice Quarterly
Volume22
Issue number4
Early online date20 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2019

Keywords

  • police
  • young people
  • stop and search
  • procedural justice
  • legitimacy

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