New report – Monitoring Racial Profiling: Introducing a scheme to prevent unlawful stops and searches by Victoria Police

The Police Stop Data Working Group have released a new report calling on Victoria Police and the government to take urgent steps to monitor racial profiling in police stops and searches.

6 September 2017 – The Police Stop Data Working Group have released a new report calling on Victoria Police and the government to take urgent steps to monitor racial profiling in police stops and searches. 

The report, Monitoring Racial Profiling: Introducing a scheme to prevent unlawful stops and searches by Victoria Police, written by  team of academic experts and commissioned by Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre, has found that introducing a scheme to collect and publicly report on data about police stops is a critical first step in reducing disproportionate stops of people of colour and unlawful stops by police.

“Racial profiling is a form of biased and discriminatory policing, and its implications and impacts of racial profiling are profound,” the report states.

Lawyers from the Police Accountability Project at Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre say they regularly hear from young people who are targeted by police based on their race.

“Through focusing police attention on providing a reasonable justification for stopping individuals and publicly reporting those justifications and the race of who is stopped, the scheme creates a public accountability mechanism to reduce the use of stereotyping in police stops,” said Tamar Hopkins, the report's lead author.

“Data and public accountability make police practices transparent and facilitate the external and internal pressure needed to bring Victoria Police’s racial profiling ban into practice,” said Dr Victoria Sentas, one of the report's co-authors and academic expert on criminal law and policing.

All Australian states should legislate to mandate police collection and publication of data on the use of their street powers, in order to monitor and prevent over policing; particularly in relation to the over-policing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Source/further info: www.policeaccountability.org.au

Download the report: Monitoring Racial Profiling: Introducing a scheme to prevent unlawful stops and searches by Victoria Police​ (PDF)