Policing: A growing culture of extremism?

Policing: A growing culture of extremism?

Fortnightly Bulletin

Written by: IRR News Team

IRR News 8 – 21 July 2022

If you’ve kept up with the news from Germany this week, you will have heard that the soldier Franco Albrecht has been convicted of planning to attack senior politicians and public figures while posing as a Syrian refugee. This story and other concerning trends within policing and the military feature in this week’s calendar of racism and resistance. A comprehensive article by IRR director Liz Fekete published in the July issue of Race & Class (now available to order) provides many such examples of extremism in European police and armed forces. But crucially, her research, which demolishes the idea that this is a marginal problem of a few ‘rotten apples’ in an otherwise perfect barrel, asks whether we are facing a crisis of democracy within state institutions.

‘Racism, radicalisation and Europe’s “Thin Blue Line” does not just provide case studies of far-right entryism into the police, but asks what it is about modern policing – increasingly organised around data, biometrics, specialist paramilitary squads and the introduction of lethal weaponry – which nurtures a heightened sense of impunity amongst rank-and-file officers across Europe. This week, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, too, warned the armed forces to wake up to the threat posed by extreme-right groups targeting military personnel.

IRR News will be taking a break until 12 September although we will continue to publish the calendar throughout August. We have some exciting announcements for our Autumn IRR50 activities coming soon, but in the meantime, we wish all our subscribers, supporters and friends a good summer.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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