On the 10th of July, a group of our young leaders met up with Rebecca Delsol and Mike Shiner authors of “Stop and Search: The Anatomy of a Police Power”. We discussed a possible collaboration on a research project around the subject of Stop and Search. Different themes and questions were discussed such as:
- How are Police complaints handled and how we introduce youth and community involvement in the process
- How can we introduce more fairness in the way police interact with young people?
- Why are particular types of clothing and communities associated with carrying a knife or violent crime?
- Can we blame the police for who they target?
- Are females stopped and search more than males?
- Can police go about Stop and Search differently?
- Should Stop and Search be scrapped altogether?
- Why are black people more likely to be stopped and searched?
We had a lot of interesting comments from our young leaders, one comment from the group was that girls tend to lead boys astray which cause them to get in trouble with the police. We also had a comment saying we cannot blame the police for judging clothing, when a lot of people who carry knives wear a particular type of clothing. We naturally came to the conclusion that although Stop and Search may not be the most effective method for reducing knife crime, it certainly can help get knives off the street, one of our young leaders talked about how it’s important to perform Stop and Search because people are actually carrying knives on our streets.
This was a great way of discussing the issues surrounding stop and search and police, as our young leaders have first-hand knowledge and experience. In terms of our next steps, we will be confirming the research project and nailing the key themes we want to focus on. We will then send them our research themes, which will potentially highlight more issues and even create solutions as it will provide a perspective that isn’t often seen. We’re grateful to have received a report from the Criminal Justice Alliance called “No respect: Young BAME men, the police and stop and search” written by Peter Keeling, who has represented a number of key recommendations for the police around the theme of Stop and Search. We intend to use elements of the research findings to develop our own research. We will continue to develop the idea with both Rebecca and Mike and present the research at regional conferences.