Chapter

‘Police Ethnicity’

Simon Holdaway

in Black Police Associations

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199573448
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191702105 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573448.003.0006

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

‘Police Ethnicity’

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The first Black Police Association (BPA) in the Metropolitan Police changed from being an ethnic group to an ethnic association, identifying clearly with an experience of prejudice and discrimination within their constabulary. This chapter further explores the consequences of this process—how BPAs have enhanced a particular identity amongst their members—arguing that a new notion of ‘police ethnicity’ has been developed within constabularies. Understanding the culture and ethnicity, as well as the sustaining of police ethnicity are illustrated. The fundamental characteristics of ‘police ethnicity’ remained within its boundaries, accommodating a culturally, racialized specific style of negotiation with senior officers. BPAs created ‘police ethnicity’ to claim an essential ethnic and racialized position within constabularies. Their purpose has been to work strategically, with employment viewed through a lens of ‘police ethnicity’, and, in turn, for others to perceive them unambiguously.

Keywords: BPA; Metropolitan Police; police ethnicity; senior officers

Chapter.  5127 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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