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Policing scholars often speak about police ‘patrolling the boundaries of belonging’, however the dynamics of this process are rarely closely examined. Similarly, social researchers exploring questions of integration and identity have generally studied the social and economic factors that influence belonging without considering the impact of encounters with authorities. This paper, based on a qualitative study with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in south east Melbourne, spans this inter-disciplinary field by exploring the impact of police encounters on young people’s personal perceptions of belonging. The study revealed a number of ways in which police enforce, reproduce and sometimes contest the dynamically changing boundaries of belonging at the levels of governance, politics and individual experience, contributing to what Mezzadra and Neilson have called ‘an excess of inclusion over belonging’.