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The StopWatch Youth Group is made up of young people who advocate for policy change and work with grassroots organisations to inform young people about their rights and raise awareness around stop and search issues.
Young Voices on Stop and Search
Over a ten-month period, StopWatch delivered an advocacy programme to young people in three areas, Bristol, Cardiff and Wellingborough in collaboration with local partners Black South West Network (Bristol), Race Equality First (Cardiff), and Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (Wellingborough). The varied programme kicked off with the groups designing and conducting their own research project. The specific issues addressed through the project were chosen independently by each group so that they reflected local priorities and interests but all aimed to explore and understand young people’s experiences of stop and search and their relationship with the police. In Bristol, the group chose to focus on police community relations; Cardiff looked at young people's understanding of their rights and the Wellingborough group was most passionate about traffic stops.
A summary of their findings can be found here.
Bristol, Cardiff and Wellinborough Showcase
Young people from Bristol, Cardiff and Wellingborough recently came together to showcase their work, swap ideas and brainstorm how to overcomes challenges faced in meeting their objectives. For example, the Bristol youth group explained how they are working with the Sue Mounstevens, Avon and Somerset's police and crime commissioner, to set up a new process to faciliate police-community engagement. Wellingborough's representative spoke about how they informed police officers of how it felt to be stopped and search through a rap delivered to a national conference of police officers. Inspector Nick Glynn, from the College of Policing, held an open question and answer session with partcipants and there was an exclusive screening of Y-Stop's 'know your rights' film.
Stop and Search Yourself
Back in 2012, the StopWatch Youth Group took to the streets with a flash mob dance routine to highlight concerns about excessive stop and search in the capital.
Members of the Youth Group regularly share their experiences and expertise through blogs and submissions. We also take them to conferences and seminars acround the world to talk about their experiences, how they are seeking to change the way stop and search is used in Great Britain and share best practice with young people from other countries. Past members have gone on to work for youth-related charities, became teachers, set up their own entreprises or kick-started a career in academia.