Saturday, 14 May 2011

Stop & Account

NeighbourhoodWatcher attended a Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) Consultation Event at City Hall ("The Gherkin") on May 11th. on the subject of "Stop & Account".

At present in London a stop and account is recorded when a police officer or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) stops a person and asks them to explain why they are in a particular place, why they are carrying something or why they are behaving in a particular way.

The time, date and place where the stop happened are recorded and a copy of the record given to the person stopped. The person stopped does not need to give their name or address but their ethnic background is recorded. In return the officer provides a receipt or a business card so the person stopped knows the identity of the police officer.

It is felt that "Stop & Account" is used disproportionately "against" Black & Asian Youth.

The government has proposed that recording "Stop & Account" should cease, and no receipt should be given. Changes were made to stop and account in the Crime and Security Act 2010. The Home Office legislation gave police services the option not to record stop and account to reduce the paper work police officers are required to complete. Some police forces in England and Wales have already made the decision to discontinue recording stop and account.

There is an on-line questionnaire here that you can complete and you have until the 8th. June to do so.

This will be almost the final act of the MPA as was because the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill 2010 proposes the introduction of elected Police Commissioners, except in London where the elected Mayor shall appoint the Commissioner. However, the Lords have voted down these proposals.

Panel members: Reshard Auladin (MPA deputy chair) Doreen Lawrence (Stephen Lawrence Trust) Dr Richard Stone (Stephen Lawrence Inquiry) Commander Tony Eastaugh (MPS lead for Stop and Search) Professor Ben Bowling (King’s College London) and Mike Ainsworth (National Policing Improvement Agency).

Youth panel members: Sarah Edoo (Youth Engagement Panel) Akeem Edwards (Chair Brent Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group) Kanjay Ibrahim Sesay (NUS Black Students Officer) Lara Cranshaw (Catch 21) Tariq Chowdhury (Independent film maker) Danni Briggs - self-confessed school drop-out- (Independent Academic Research Studies) and Tarek Chaudhury (Reprezent 107.3 FM Youth Radio - canvassed over 250 young persons on this subject).

Facilitator: BBC TV News Correspondent Kurt Barling

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