Ethnic minorities are often over-exposed to an excessive police control that is not based on objective criteria, such as the individual behavior, but rather on false and unfounded prejudices that some officers have concerning an alleged greater probability that people belonging to certain communities are involved in the commission of a crime or any other offence. These police practices constitute ethnic profiling.
Ethnic profiling is discriminatory and illegal, as established by many international and regional human rights bodies. In addition, it stigmatizes certain communities (and thus, promoting racism amongst the general public); it results in a loss of legitimacy of the police institution in the eyes of minorities, and has proven to be totally ineffective in crime prevention. States must establish clear legal standards prohibiting ethnic profiling and requiring reasonable suspicion as the only ground that can be used by police officers to stop and search individuals as well as to adopt a number of measures to prevent these discriminatory police practices.