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Feedback about Policing Assessment

This is a good overview of some of the relevant issues on institutional racism in the police.

Key positive aspects

- You have engaged with relevant debates in relation to the problem of institutional racism in the police. You consider, for example, the issue of representation and draw on relevant data in your discussions. You note relevant policy and legislation that attempts to improve the diversity of the police. You provide a useful historical context to the problem of institutional racism, rightly, for example, noting the Scarman and Macpherson Reports.


- You engage with the complexity of institutional racism in the police. You refer to the institutionalised/systemic nature of racism in the police, which is important context in considering how the problem can be addressed. Your focus on drug offences in your discussions of the disproportionate use of stop and search is an interesting focus, your use of data to support your arguments here is good. Your conclusion draws out the contested nature of the definition of institutional racism which is interesting.

- You draw on contemporary events and recent data which demonstrates understanding of the contemporary policy and practice landscape, and the timeliness of the issues discussed.

There are some areas for development in the work:

- The main area of feedback relates to the level of critical analysis in the work, which could be further developed. Overall, the work is leans towards descriptive rather than analytical. In several areas of the work, your arguments could be strengthened or extended, to communicate a more 'in-depth' analysis of the issues discussed. Your discussion of stop and search, for example, could consider the impacts on minority communities (the procedural justice literature would relate here). Your discussions lend themselves to considering of police legitimacy/policing by consent, drawing on these theoretical concepts would help to demonstrate analysis. You note the complexity of definition of institutional racism in the conclusion - this is an interesting point, which relates well to your arguments in the work - a more consistent coherent focus on this would strengthen the work.

- Whilst you have engaged with some relevant literature, there are some notable absences in the material covered as part of the Module. At postgraduate level, students are encouraged, as much as possible, to engage with original works and this is particularly important for seminal studies or key theorists. You note Westley and Banton (at the beginning of page 4) but cite Sutton et al.,2006. Your discussions here would be strengthened with engagement with the works of Banton and Westley, as key theorists on police culture, rather than Sutton's interpretation of their work. Greater engagement with the police occupational culture literature (e.g. Loftus, Chan, Holdaway, Reiner) would strengthen the discussions in the work.

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- Pay close attention to proofreading your work thoroughly before submitting your work. Pay close attention also that the style of in-text referencing reflects the University's recommended Harvard standard. Subtitles in academic work can be useful in providing structure, but the level of use in this work at times disrupts the coherence and 'flow' of your discussions. This is more of a stylistic point.

Overall, this is a good consideration of some of the relevant issues in relation to institutional racism in the police.

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