Fair and Effective Police Stops: Lessons in Reform from Five Spanish Police Agencies

Around the world, police departments, policy makers, and communities have struggled to develop best practices that ensure the delivery of both fair and effective policing. Recently, five police departments in Spain undertook an ambitious reform program intended to reduce ethnic profiling and increase the effectiveness and fairness of police stops and searches. Their collective experience shows that change is possible—while also illustrating the challenges and resources required to make change sustainable. Through a series of steps outlined in this report, police agencies reduced the ethnic disproportionality of their stops, increased the effectiveness of stops, while reducing the total number of people stopped, and improved relations with ethnic minority communities.