Bias Crime Policing: 'The Graveyard Shift'


Bias crime is crime that is motivated by prejudice or bias towards an attribute of the victim, such as race, religion or sexuality. Police have been criticised for failing to take bias crime seriously, and there is a pressing need to understand the reasons for this failure. This article aims to address this gap by presenting the results of the first empirical study of bias crime policing in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). Drawing on interviews with the NSW Police Force (NSWPF), the study found that sustainable reform in this domain has proven elusive. This can be attributed to a number of key challenges including reporting, recording, identification, framing, community engagement and leadership. The lessons that emerge from the findings have important ramifications for all police organisations.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2019-03-22
Pages:1 to 16
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How to Cite
Mason, G. and Moran, L. (2019) “Bias Crime Policing: ’The Graveyard Shift’”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(2), pp. 1-16. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i2.1137.

Author Biographies

Gail Mason is Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney. Gail’s research centres on crime, social justice and exclusion, particularly: racist and homophobic violence; hate crime law and punishment; and the legal construction of hatred. She is co-ordinator of the Australian Hate Crime Network and Chief Investigator on the ARC funded Hate Crime Law and Justice Project which is undertaking an international comparison of hate crime laws. She is also involved in funded research exploring cyber-racism, the policing of prejudice motivated crime and resilience amongst former-refugee communities in Australia. She was Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology from 2008-2012.

University of London
 United Kingdom

Leslie J Moran is a Professor in the Department of Criminology School of Law Birkbeck College in London. He has an international reputation for his research on sexuality and law, hate crime and the judiciary. His publications include ‘The homosexual(ity) of law’ (Routledge 1996), Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety (Routledge 2004) co-authored with Beverly Skeggs, Karen Corteen and Paul Tyrer. He has also edited a number of collections of essays including ‘Legal Queeries’ (Cassels 1998), ‘Law’s Moving Image’ (Glasshouse 2004) and ‘Critical Reflections on Hate Crime published as a special edition of the journal ‘Law and Critique’. He is currently finishing a project on the judiciary which is to be published in 2020 by Routledge under the title ‘Law, Judges and Visual Culture’. For more information about my publications and research interests see;