Police stops in Germany: People who look foreign are stopped more frequently

Policy Brief | November 2023

Discriminatory police practices such as racial profiling have been the subject of debate in Germany for a number of years – though without any reliable underlying statistics. The scientific staff of the Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR) has now for the first time examined the link between perceived phenotypic difference and police stops in Germany based on data drawn from a national representative survey. The findings show that respondents who are perceived as foreign are stopped by the police around twice as frequently as those who are not.

The policy brief is based on an analysis of data taken from the SVR’s 2022 Integration Barometer. A total of 15,005 people with and without a migration background were surveyed between late November 2021 and early July 2022 for the fourth such national representative survey.