Community Activist’s Son in Stop n Search Abuse by West Midlands Police
As a Community Activist one of the big issues amongst young people with a particular issue within African & Caribbean youth has the Stop n Search and their relationship with the Police which at times are based on racial profiling.
This came to my doorstep over last weekend in the early hours of Sunday morning, whilst my 16 year old son, was returning home to a party he was hosting, after following his friend to retrieve a coat at the top of the road.
They were stopped by the Police 3 doors away from my home as a group of three girls were pointing at them at the top of the road, the girls were white.
The Officer’s said a white lad had been robbed in the area about 3 streets way by two black lads and they fitted the description.
The Officers ask them why they were running when the girls pointed at them and they told the police that they were not running.
The girls came over and when asked if they recognised them, they said NO and the Girls left the scene.
Instead of letting them carry on the Officer’s then decided to conduct a section 1 search, for no apparent reason. After doing this they let them go, with no further information, whilst recording their name, address and date of birth.
Clearly, there is an issue here, as after being eliminated from the purpose of the stop, the Officer’s decided to search them with following the procedure that West Midlands Police have celebrated.
The fact are I have made it clear time and time again that it is the behaviour of the Officers on the ground that make the difference and unfortunately in this case it is a fine example of worse practice possible.
1. They had no grounds and there was no identification by the group of girls.
2. There was no physical description or clothing description.
3. They failed to explain the reason/rationale for the search.
4. They failed to deliver details of the URN for the search.
5. They recorded their name and address.
6. They not just patted them down they also went into their pockets.
7. They also failed to advise them they were being detained and why.
The only reason for the stop is that they were two black lads walking down the road, which were immediately eliminated, by the girls concerned, so why did the Police continue with the search.
Having obtained the Police record it is claimed, they were acting suspiciously, avoiding the Police and Matches description.
The issue with this is how many of these are still happening and especially, black youngsters are not reporting these as they see no point as they feel that once ranks are closed, Officer’s just get away with this type of behaviour. This clearly, racial profiling and in addition to this they Police are clearly collecting data and introducing black youngsters to the Criminal Justice system, in some way shape or form.
It is my understanding that the Officer’s concerned had responded from Sutton Coldfield Police Station.
I see this as covert and systemic racial discrimination, as clearly, this is an example of the buzz word being used to replace racism, ie.disproportional.
The only description they fitted were two black lads and once they were ruled out, which was immediate, they Officer’s abused their powers and subjected them the race discrimination by continuing to search them, which was unjustified and to continue the abuse they failed to give them the reference number in order to ensure that matters could go no further.
This matter has been reported to West Midlands Police and they are taking this seriously, however, whilst stop n search has drastically reduced, it clearly, shows that reduction highlighted the abuse which is still continuing as in this case.
Furthermore, the Police and Crime Commissioner, wants West Midlands Police to reflect the Community they serve when recently highlighting only one black recruit, the facts are very simple, the Police themselves are the greatest advert for the service and with this type of behaviour it only increases the negative perception of the Police
The unfortunate part of this is whilst Officer’s get away with this they will be empowered to continue this unacceptable behaviour, whilst increasing the disaffection amongst young people, particularly black young people.
It is notable that this issues are not being addressed during the election campaign, however, this oppressive system needs to be replaced, with firm legislation that will ensure that it is delivered fairly to all with guideline set in law should Police Officer’s continue to abuse their powers to oppress a Community, that it is clear to me that many Officer’s dislike.
It will be interesting to see what action will be taken against the Officer’s concerned, as they have clearly not followed the guidelines with regard to Stop n Search, whilst discriminating against my son and his friend.
I’m the one left with my wife to reassure my son that he did nothing wrong and that he is not a criminal after being humiliated on in the street outside of our home.
It is disproportional or just clear racism?
Just for completeness a formal complaint has been registered with West Midlands Police and is to be investigated by their Professional Standards Department. Therefore lets see how long that takes them, prior to me referring this matter to the IPCC, should they delay to conduct a thorough and timely investigation as this type of conduct must cease.
14th April 2015