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An exploration of perceptions of real-life suspects’ from the Asian Muslim community relating to the police interviewing practices in England


Intelligence and Counter TerrorismJournal abstract

In England and Wales, the ‘war on terror’ has been argued to impact adversely on existing race relations policies. New legislation (such as wide discretionary powers of stop and search and arrest under the Terrorism Act (TA) 2000, the extension of pre-charge detention of 28 days (TA 2006), and the use of control orders to detain without trial), policing, and counter-terrorism measures may cast Muslims as the ‘enemy within’. The current research concerns real-life Asian Muslim suspects’ perceptions and experiences of police interviewing practices in England. This study involves semi-structured interviews with 22 people who had previously been interviewed as suspects throughout England. Around two-thirds of participants reported perceiving the demonstration of various stereotyping by police officers during interviews, half of whom indicated that the interviewers demonstrated racial/religious stereotypes via discriminatory behaviour. Given the potential and serious consequences of such racial/religious stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour, further training of police officers seems necessary to improve both interviewing performance and community cohesion.

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