Police Engagement with Muslim Communities: Breaking Out, Breaking In, and Breaking Through

Karen Bullock, Paul James Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the character of engagement between UK police forces and Muslim communities and citizens. It examines, from the perspective of police personnel, a range of factors that prevent police organisations from ‘breaking out’ of constraints that currently hinder their engagement with Muslim communities, limit police officers from ‘breaking in’ to Muslim communities in ways that would improve engagement, and facilitate police officers in ‘breaking through’ barriers between them and Muslim communities. The aim of the article is to offer a critical insight into engagement between police officers and Muslim communities and citizens that may aid and enhance such engagement in the future. Enhancing positive engagement between the police service and Muslim citizens is vital in the context of contemporary concerns about Muslim communities being the focus of a multiplicity of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies and, as a result, Muslims citizens retreating from participation in public life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-897
Number of pages19
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number8
Early online date21 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2018

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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Faith and religion
  • Islam
  • Muslim communities
  • neighbourhood policing

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