Columnists

Lest we forget

Policing includes all activities performed by police forces of various kinds (including military ones), most prominently law enforcement and crime prevention. Contemporary key issues related to policing include transnational policing practices, for instance of protesters, the privatization of certain services and activities related to policing and the links between reforms of police forces and democratization in transitional situations.


Policing academia: exporting 'expertise', importing marketisation

Manchester Metropolitan University is working with the Qatari government to train Qatari police officers. What does the export of policing 'expertise', such as within this lucrative business deal, reveal about the transformation of academia in the UK?

#IPCCFail – the police complaints watchdog’s “decade of failure”

It's ten years since the Independent Police Complaints Commission was founded, and they've utterly failed.

Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy

Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?

Community policing or counter-terrorism: What was Britain doing in Sri Lanka?

Why were the British delivering a 'community policing' program during and after Sri Lanka's 2009 civil war? And why are 'national security and counter-terrorism' the reasons for refusing disclosure about it?

Racism: troubling truths

Fighting racism in Europe is not easy when Europe has two hands tied behind its back—debilitated by neo-liberal policies on the one hand and the securitisation of minorities on the other.

Fish rot from the head

Torture is routine practice in South Africa's police stations and prisons. A lineage of impunity, traced from apartheid, has meant de facto immunity for perpetrators. With South Africa celebrating its 'Human Rights Day' this weekend, the shocking reality behind its prison walls must be a central focus.

Policing public sexuality: queerness, intimacy, protection and violence

Excluded from police protection, subjected to intimate scrutiny of one's public sexuality, and regularly victim of police violence, for LGBTQ people in India police presence routinely signals danger. The queer rights movement has developed intertwined with this reality of intimate police violence.

Content warning: this article contains description of rape and sexual violence.

Five thoughts on abolishing the Met

Whilst seemingly necessary and incisive, recent calls to 'abolish' London's Metropolitan police do not go nearly far enough.

The violence of denial

Twenty-one years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in South London, the criminal justice system maintains a reflex to deny racism. This amounts to the routine denial of justice.

The thin blue line between security, policing and the arms trade

On March 12-14 the quiet English town of Farnborough will play host to the Security & Policing conference and exhibition. This event will bring together some of the world's largest arms companies with some of the worst human rights abusers.

Beyond Yasukuni: Japan's march towards militarism

From constitutional revisions to education reform, the Japanese government is intent on undoing the country's pacifist fundamentals. 

White-washing the water cannon: salesmen, scientific experts and human rights abuses

Scrubbing away the white-wash of 'less lethal' riot control reveals a history littered with humanitarian disasters, weaponisation, inadequate testing, and corporate profiteering. What does a 'public consultation' on water cannon mean when this history is hidden?

In search of security: "as transgenders we don't count at all"

Film: An organiser for transgender rights from The Humsafar Trust discusses insecurity and everyday experiences of policing for LGBTQ people in Mumbai. Part of the Whose Police? collection of interviews with citizens, analysts and activists around the world exploring the question: where does security come from? This video is in Hindi and English.

Extending a hand or raising a fist to the state?

From mobile phones to crowdsourced election monitoring, an in-depth look at how communication technologies are transforming citizen engagement and societal accountability in Southeast Asia.

Violence visited on Cambodian garment workers

Cambodian garment workers make around $80 a month, taking on long hours of overtime in harsh conditions. Now workers across the country are standing up for themselves to demand more—but the fight for a better wage in Cambodia is a dangerous one. At least four garment workers were killed this month during a crackdown on protesters demanding a decent wage from the government and international clothing companies. This video shows the workers who are standing up—and the violence consistently employed to keep them quiet.

Doreen Lawrence, police spies and institutional racism

Allegations of police spying on anti-racism groups shed new light on the meaning and operation of 'institutional racism'. Here, Adam Elliott-Cooper reflects on the Stephen Lawrence Campaign and the MacPherson Report.

Local surveillance since 2001

The almost exclusive focus on the NSA obscures the degree to which surveillance has become integrated into almost every level of government. For most of us, the first point of contact with the surveillance state isn’t the NSA – it’s the local police department. 

"There is Marikana everyday in South Africa" - an interview with Abahlali baseMjondolo

Film: Struggling for the right to decent housing and against the criminalisation of poverty, South African shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo face severe police repression. Here S'bu Zikode outlines the lethal consequences of police militarisation and the ANC's political capture of the police.

The over-policing of America

The purview of the US criminal justice system appears to be widening: from school child 'bad behaviour' to a tenant's rent arrears. Chase Madar tracks the increasing involvement of police in everyday life.

The numbers in black and white: racism in the policing of drugs

Each year the UK police are disproportionately stopping and searching large numbers of Black and Asian people for drug possession, amounting to mass police interference in everyday life. Is an answer decriminalising drug possession?

"Our self-confidence is the main reason for police harassment..."

For adivasis in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, economic exploitation and social degradation go hand in hand. This interview with Madhuri Krishnaswamy of JADS, an adivasi organisation, reveals routine police protection of entrenched power hierarchies – and the political confidence found to fight back.

Grief and rage in India: making violence against women history?

There was uproar in India at the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old student on her way home from the cinema. Can we harness the international attention to this case to demand that the world's leaders commit themselves to a policy of zero tolerance of violence against women in the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda?

Unreformable: an end to stop-and-frisk in NYC?

Under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelley stop-and-frisk has been a racist technology of control wielded by an unchecked police force. With large-scale popular mobilisations against police racism and violence, and de Blasio set to take over as mayor of New York City, reform of stop-and-frisk seems in sight. But is such a practice reformable? 

Border patrol international

The U.S. border is no longer static and 'homeland security' no longer stays in the homeland: it’s mobile, it’s rapid, and it's international. Todd Miller exposes the growing border-security complex. 

MI5 in Ceylon - the untold story

Britain's collusion in the Sri Lankan state's violent tactics of repression is finally coming to light. But it's only one part of its long history aiding police brutality across many former colonies - and much more remains unknown.

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