Arc news: March 2016
Why are young people stopped by the Police?
Stop and Think - Arc's Interactive Forum Theatre workshops for secondary students returns to Barking & Dagenham schools this spring.
Funded by Barking & Dagenham Safer Neighbourhoods Board, Arc's powerful youth engagement programme uses live theatre to raise awareness of the realities of Stop and Search or Stop and Account.
According to Police statistics, those aged between 15 and 24 are more subject to ‘Stop and Search’ or ‘Stop and Account’ than any others. 34% of this age group will be stopped in the course of a year, compared with 1.4% from outside this age group.
It could be that those aged between 15 and 24 are just more likely to be on the street, in the park, or in other public areas… but arrest figures would suggest that they are also more likely to be in possession of drugs or offensive weapons. However, many young people feel that they are unfairly singled out for Police attention. Many say that they find the experience humiliating and annoying.
In reality, the figures may point to a smaller number of young people being stopped with greater regularity, but if you ask a group of 15 or 16-year-olds if they have been stopped, a majority will say that they have been, and many will express a negative attitude whether they have actually been stopped or not.
Arc’s Stop and Think intervention programme aims to improve Police and community relations and bust the myths surrounding Stop and Search, including:
Why the Police use Stop and Search or Stop and Account and the difference between them,
Young people’s legal rights and responsibilities,
What behaviours might cause young people to be stopped,
How to behave during a stop in order that no offences are committed as a result of the procedure itself.
Stop and Think is touring Barking & Dagenham secondary schools in March and April 2016. To find out how we can bring the programme to your area, please contact Nita Bocking at Arc on 020 8595 8509.