On Thursday the 3rd November 2016 Voyage participated in a “Police Encounters Project Board” Conference focused on the controversial Police practice of “Stop and Search”. The conference looked at stop and search trends, best use of the Stop and Search scheme (UK wide best and worst practices) and some of the governments current thinking. Whilst the conference set out lots of statistics, debatable impacts it was was very light on any significant policy shifts towards a more equitable approach. For example there was no appetite expressed for the procedure to totally abolished, yet there seemed to be a move towards the Police adopting a more intelligence based approach. Very little was shared about what this actually meant in practice and in ways the public could really get excited about, so we intend to maintain a watchful eye.
The Conference was attended by senior Met and British Transport Police officers, stop and search community leaders (Ken Hinds now the National Stop and Search lead community rep) and a host of voluntary sector and academic partners including Stopwatch.
Voyage was invited to present its paper “Over policed and under protected” produced for a National Black Police Conference 2014. Our very own Youth Coordinator Ajoa Akuamoah confidently presented the paper highlighting a dichotomy not feeling adequately protected in our communities, increasing knife crime trends against a historic backdrop of tension and poor relations between the Police and young black communities.
Our paper was well received by the conference and we have now shared the 15 point recommendations with Detective Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock. DCC Hanstock has agreed to explore how some of our recommendations can be taken forward within the Met and British Transport Police and we look forward to assisting the process further.
Voyage wishes wish to thank DCC Hanstock and his team for giving us an opportunity to present and we look forward to shaping ongoing dialogue, policing policies and procedural practice to improve community relations, make Police more accountable and stopping discriminatory Police practices.
Read more about stop and search here and some of the slides from the conference.