Statement on Plans to Reform Powers of Police to Stop and Search

30 January 2008

Kathy Evans, Policy Director at The Children's Society, comments:

"The Children's Society is extremely concerned to learn that both the Government and the Conservative party are proposing to remove safeguards that were designed to ensure that stop and search powers are used correctly and appropriately by the police. 

This will make children and young people from ethnic minorities even more vulnerable to excessive and unwarranted stop and search by police.

David Cameron’s claim that the police now do not discriminate on the basis of race does not reflect the statistics on stop and search or young people’s experiences. Our Just Justice report, published in 2006, highlighted evidence that the police’s powers to stop and search were still being used extensively against young black people, and this was having a very damaging effect on the relationship between the police and black communities.

The intrusive but important power to stop and search any person should not be taken lightly. It is important that the police are monitored and held accountable for the use of such a power, especially when stop and search is such a sensitive issue in building trust between Black and Asian young people and the police.”

Ends.

Notes to Editors:

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