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Stop And Search

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:57 pm
by Ted
Stop and Search has been intensified in London in the areas of Hackney, Southwark and Lambeth. Its part of the Mayor's strategy against knife crime

This takes the following forms:

1. Stop and Search under Section 60 Of the 1994 Criminal Justice Act. Section 60 may be declared for 24 hours by a local senior officer where s/he suspects there may be violence or disorder. There is no obligation on the police to make it public. They don't need to have any cause for suspicion to stop you. Under S60 stops (including the ethnic details of those stopped) don't need to be recorded.

2. "Normal" stop and search, where they actually have to have some reason for suspicion - they also need to record the stop and the ethnic details.

3. A 9 o'clock curfew declared by the police on all school age children - they didn't think to notify children, schools or parents of this.

It appears to be being used almost exclusively on black children - I know several kids who are being stopped and searched a couple of times a week. The officers are all white. There are anecdotal (and completely believable) stories of cops squeezing kids balls as they they search them.

The pressure is starting to build.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:03 pm
by NickH
Sounds like this is the return to the hated Sus laws, which lead to rioting in London, Bristol and Liverpool in the early 1980s.

The London Tory mayor's other knife crime strategy suggests that kids should join the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. What a jolly spiffing idea.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:17 pm
by judith
"As night-fall does not come at once, neither does oppression...It is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become victims of the darkness."

William O. Douglas.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:40 am
by Neil Foxlee
"Decent, law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear", said sources close to the Home Secretary.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:40 am
by judith
Right. They've been saying that since Hammurabi.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:12 am
by Papa M
Ted wrote:Stop and Search has been intensified in London in the areas of Hackney, Southwark and Lambeth. Its part of the Mayor's strategy against knife crime.....


Sadly the more time I have to spend in urban areas, wherever in the world, the less opposition I have to drastic and sometimes seemingly oppressive strategies.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:46 am
by Adam Blake
Well I'm a decent, law-abiding citizen and I don't like being made to walk through a metal detector when I get off the tube. I don't like spotty oiks half my age with no intelligence in their eyes giving me the onceover and acting like they're in an old Clint Eastwood movie because they did a few weeks training and got to wear a Community Assistant uniform or whatever the f*** those fake policemen are called.

And if that's how they make ME feel...

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:01 am
by Papa M
Adam Blake wrote: I don't like spotty oiks half my age with no intelligence in their eyes giving me the onceover........


.......and then pulling a blade on me.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:50 am
by Ted
Papa M wrote:Sadly the more time I have to spend in urban areas, wherever in the world, the less opposition I have to drastic and sometimes seemingly oppressive strategies.


Then you are the target audience for this kind of policing. Its to do with looking tough to people in the suburbs. Simple minded short term solutions that play well to people who don't live here. It didn't work in the 80s and it won't work now. Because the stops no longer have to be recorded there is no way of measuring how effective it is or comparing it to other less alienating approaches.

If you think that a 14 year old who's just had his testicles squeezed is going to forget about it and be thankful he was searched for his own safety, you're probably mistaken. If you think picking up kids on their way to the corner shop for a pint of milk in my neighbourhood makes you any safer, you're wrong.

I've suggested that they take pictures of the officers doing the searches on their phones. Because if the police are not doing anything wrong they have nothing to fear, do they?

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:02 pm
by Papa M
Ted wrote:Then you are the target audience for this kind of policing. Its to do with looking tough to people in the suburbs. Simple minded short term solutions that play well to people who don't live here.


Tell it to the parents of any kid who has been the victim of a knifing.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:48 pm
by Adam Blake
Some social psychologist (I forget his name) was asked by a government think tank why he thought so many kids thought it was necessary to carry knives. He said it was "because we live in a greedy society where people are rude to each other". I felt like jumping up and shouting. Someone connected to the government telling the truth. I daresay his contract will not be renewed.

I take your points, Papa M, but I agree with Ted. Too many kids feel that "respect" is the only thing they have and when they feel it abused they respond as violently as they do because it's the only thing that really matters to them. Treat people like criminal vermin and they will behave accordingly.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:22 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe
Where I live in Fife, violence is a fact of life. For 18 years I lived next door to a pub where fights were taken 'outside' (how civilised that sounds) and weapons were regularly involved. Mostly knives or broken tumblers but several times there were shotguns and twice, an axe (no need to stop and search that bloke I would have thought!)

If the Police came, nine times out of ten they sent a lone female Police officer (I kid you not)!! Presumably she was there to bat her eyelashes and charm the axe-wielder into handing over his weapon - I couldn't really say. If a male officer was sent it made no difference. The Police would routinely end up hatless, with some dick-head wearing the cop's hat and dancing round him surrounded by a laughing crowd.

In the event that the tables are ever turned and some yobbo decides to try crushing the balls of a Fife Police officer, then I'm pretty sure they'll come up empty-handed; those were removed a long time ago and are very likely being used now as paper-weights, holding down their foot high piles of 'routine paperwork'.

I'm not sure when Fife Police changed from being sadistic animals into the useless jokes they are today. In the 70's they were renowned for randomly throwing youths into the backs of their vans and giving them a 'good' kicking (this often meant some young person ending up on life support, so not sure what a 'bad' kicking would be - death?). One officer was known as 'Gloves' McCormick because he would grin widely while slowly stretching his black leather gloves over his fingers before punching holy shit out of his latest random target. A real 1970's Police bastard.

And yet it sounds very much like London has the equivalent of our 1970's officers walking the streets (or cruising in cars?) today. Bloody hell!

J

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:24 pm
by Ted
Papa M wrote:Tell it to the parents of any kid who has been the victim of a knifing.


They are probably the last people you should ask to form policing policy on knife crime. Grief and desire for vengeance are not a good basis for making sensible decisions. I'd rather it was formed by people who had access to evidence of what works. There is simply no evidence that this approach works in the long term. You can certainly make knife crime appear to decrease in the short term by making everyone stay indoors. But the price you pay is resentment and alienation.

The kids who are getting stopped and searched (including my own) are the potential victims of stabbings not the perpetrators. All of the group of kids I'm talking about have had knives pulled on them in the past - none of them feel safer as a result of S&S. They should be on the side of the police - all this does is make them more resentful and less likely to co-operate.

Show me something that works and I'll support it wholeheartedly. That would probably mean spending taxpayers money (Rescheduling police time is basically free). It might be really complicated and politically unpopular, and tabloid newspapers might refer to it as "political correctness".


June violence is a fact of life here too,and our police were pretty much as you describe in the 70s - the good kicking in the back of the van was a fact of life. It isn't like that any more. The routine paperwork (having to record the reasons for a stop, ethnic monitoring etc.) was one of the things that makes it harder for the police to abuse their authority.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:51 pm
by Dayna
Here they've put up metal detectors to try to stop kids from bringing guns to school. But our society has gotten so violent & angry, they will always find some other way of doing harm like with knives or anything else. There's so much anger, you have to wonder if you offend someone in another car what they they might do. There have been people who were actually beaten with baseball bats because they accidently cut someone off!

I know that police can abuse their power. It does happen. My uncle got beaten up by a police officer quite a few years ago. I think most of the time, they try to be fair, though.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:55 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Ted wrote:Under S60 stops (including the ethnic details of those stopped) don't need to be recorded.

Just recalled this happened to me a few months ago over something very silly. I was amused by the whole business and kept the record sheet the pretend-policeman gave me which took about 20 minutes for him to complete.

It does however say on it at one point:

"[b]Recording of a 'Stop and Account' Recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry[b]

When an officer requests a person in a public place to account for themselves ie their actions, behaviour, presence in an area or possession of anything, a record of the encounter must be completed at the time and a copy given to the person who has been questioned (unless it is wholly impractical to do so)"

Personally I'm for more aggressive and pro-active policing as long as it targets the right people. Unfortunately in my experience police were rather dim witted types who tended to pick the wrong ones. That was in the days when they had a visible presence, nowadays all you see are these keen young folk in flourescent yellow who its very hard to take seriously.