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Palgrave Macmillan

Perpetual Suspects

A Critical Race Theory of Black and Mixed-Race Experiences of Policing

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Provides a new, theoretical, intersectional and critical framework of race and policing
  • Presents a powerful account on the continuing entrenchment of racialised policing in the UK
  • Forwards thinking in the current, highly contested set of debates surrounding this issue

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Contextualising the Race-Crime Nexus

  2. Theoretical Implications and Conclusions


About this book

Grounded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), this book examines black and mixed-race men and women’s experiences of policing in the UK. Through an intersectional analysis of race, class and gender it analyses the construction of the suspect, illuminating the ways in which race and racism(s) shape police contact. This counter-story to the dominant narrative challenges the erasure of race through the contemporary ‘diversity’ agenda. Overall, this book proposes that making racism visible can disrupt power structures and make change possible. It makes a timely contribution to this significantly under-researched area and will be of interest to students, educators and scholars of Criminology, Social Sciences, Law and Humanities. It will also be of interest to criminal justice practitioners, communities and activists.


“This timely, elegantly written and striking study furthers contemporary debates regarding race and policing. By foregrounding the experiences of the policed and in utilising a critical race framework, this study stands apart from much policing and criminological scholarship on this topic where analyses concerning race are rare, if at all to be found. The author is to be commended for a text that includes fascinating empirical data, rigorous analysis and which also ambitiously seeks to highlight steps for a future research agenda. It is a must read for students, educators, activists and for anyone truly interested in challenging the dominance of both accepted academic orthodoxy on policing and the on-going and harmful effects of police power.” (Waqas Tufail, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Leeds Beckett University, UK)

“In this timely and important work Lisa Long offers a searing critique of the state of UK policing. Perpetual Suspects shows that despite much talk about change, anti-Black racism remains endemic to contemporary policing and has profound implications for Black lives. Drawing upon first person accounts of Black people in Britain, this book represents a call to arms for us to do more to fight against unjust and racist policing.” (Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Senior Lecturer, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, UK)

“Lisa Long brings a fresh and incisive perspective to the long-running debate over racism and policing in the UK. Her theoretical rigour and impeccable research have produced a powerful critical analysis which provides a sound footing for practioner reflection and renewed action. Written with passion and full of insight, this book is a highly important contribution to our understanding and deserves to be widely read.” (Ian Law, CERS (Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies), School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK)


Authors and Affiliations

  • Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK

    Lisa J. Long

About the author

Lisa J. Long is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK.

Bibliographic Information

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