Ethnic profiling starting to become a problem in police forces

Ethnic profiling

Ethnic profiling within police forces

Ethnic profiling by police occurs more structured and is more common than thought. This is clear from internal records of the police who KRO-NCRV program Focal published today. A survey by Focal on a group of officers show that 41% of the officers pay attention to ethnicity when arresting suspects.

Meanwhile, YouTube, Facebook and other social media to be an important outlet for people who feel profiled. Especially young Moroccans react quickly and grab their smart phone to capture alleged misconduct by police officers. It may happen that an ordinary ticket, quickly turns into an accusations of abuse of power.


The study shows that one in five officers arrests certain ethnic groups because they believe these groups are more likely to commit certain types of crime. 41% of officers admits that they do this sometimes . A small minority of 14% said they never check someone on the basis of their ethnicity.


Focal reporters followed a police team in Amsterdam to see how agents deal with the phenomenon of ethnic profiling.

In this reportage all the people who are pulled over by the police are foreigners. It looks like they are used to it and gave up the fighting a long time ago. The police officers in the reportage show a professional attitude but they say they can’t escape the ethnic profiling because every time they decide to pull someone over it’s almost always a foreigner.

According to them they only stop people who are known by police and have had prior arrests. None of the cars and people who got pulled over had anything illegal on them and no arrests were made.

Big role

The survey of more than 500 police officers is one of the few studies on the extent of ethnic profiling that occurs within the police. “The overall conclusion is that most of the officers let ethnicity play a huge role and are convinced that this approach is justified,” concludes the researcher.

Leadership Police force

The documents published by Focal show that the police force has been struggling  with this problem for years.  “The Power of difference” is a nationwide program designed to prevent, among other ethnic profiling and to realize more diversity within the police force.

What do you think of ethnic profiling? Do you think it’s justified or would you like to see it change. And what is the best way to make an end to profiling because it’s a difficult subject.



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