Posts Tagged: ‘police’

Finally: Research on stereotypes in police practice

16 October 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Independent researcher Sinan Çankaya did participant observation among street worker policemen in Amsterdam and had interviews and talks with them while smoking and drinking coffee. He wanted to find out if the Dutch police is the same as police elsewhere, picking out the black guys walking hooded on the streets to ask for their ID’s, stopping the Surinam men who drive in fancy cars etcetera. And yes, Çankaya found they are exactly the same. Reassuring on the one hand (Dutch policemen act like police in other countries), painful on the other (Dutch policemen act like police in other countries!).

Police so far reacted okay. “This is painful, but we need the discussion. We have to learn to select criminals based on what they do, on their deviant behaviour, not on what they look like.”

Hmm. Gee.

The research will be published later this year. Unfortunately only in Dutch. But just check the foreign books on the topic and you will know how Dutch policemen act .. 😉

ant fucker – mierenneuker

18 May 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands on 8 May 2012 gave verdict on a case in which a homeless man called a police man a ‘mierenneuker’ – an ‘ant fucker’. The homeless man was prosecuted and convicted for insulting a police officer by the court of first instance and on appeal. The Supreme Court found differently. The police officer had taken away a beer can from the homeless man and thrown it in the trash can. Calling that police man an ant fucker is not always an insult, the Supreme Court found. An ant fucker in common sense usage in the Netherlands is someone who is very strict, actually too strict on rules – focused too much on the small things in life and on the millimeters, and not on things that really matter.
According to the Supreme Court, the context of the utterance – was it heard by other people, was there an intention to insult – is decisive for the assessment of there being a criminal act. Because calling someone an ant fucker is generally not enough for a criminal insult …

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