BME communities' perceptions of the police: Influences, contact and careers in the police

Research Institution / Organisation

Solent University

In Collaboration With

Hampshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Principal Researcher

Joseph Healey

Level of Research


Project Start Date

December 2019

Research Context

Historically, there has been a strained relationship between the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and the police in the UK. The way in which these communities perceive the police and their actions, impacts greatly upon the legitimacy of the police. While there is quantitative data related to confidence in the police there is little to no data to suggest why BME communities in Hampshire may hold the views that they do. 

The aim of this research is to gain a qualitative understanding of the perceptions Black and Minority Ethnic communities have of the police. This will be achieved through 4 objectives. Firstly, the research will ascertain what factors informs people's perceptions of the police. Secondly, to understand what these communities expect from the police and whether these expectations are met. Thirdly, to explore the experiences of those BME people who have had contact with the police. Lastly, there will be an assessment on what the police could improve or what they did well during said engagement.

Research Methodology

‚ÄčThe research will be conducted using semi-structured interviews with those who fit the criteria of being BME and having had contact with the police in any capacity be it as a victim or a suspect. Due to the limited time-frame and the scope of this work the aim is to have 10 semi-structured interviews. It should be noted that due to the OPCC's access to people willing to take part in surveys and other research, this work may be supplemented by an online structured survey. Grounded theory will be used to analyse the data that has been gathered as its flexibility means that unforeseen themes can be explored as and when they surface.

Date due for completion

September 2020
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