To kickstart our first week of the research project, we began training by class introductions and a short ‘get to know me’ by our host and trainer Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng. She wanted to know the classes personal experiences with stop and search, as women, and what our thoughts were regarding gender, age and race on stop and search.
Many of the participants shared their own stories and we concluded that women and many women of colour are not recognized as a statistic when it came to stop and search. Our introduction showed how important the work we are aiming to achieve will be to the UK and wider society.
Did you know that women are more likely to be stopped and searched for theft and men are more likely to be stopped for firearms?
Later in the lecture we were introduced to different types of interviews: quantitative and qualitative. We assessed the difference between the two, such as qualitative interviews could be focus groups, ethnography and one-to-one open ended questions.
After distinguishing the difference, the class and Dr Louise analysed the pros and cons of both interview types and we concluded that, qualitative interviews are beneficial when presenting data to local communities or creating campaigns. Quantitative interviews are great to present to organizations such as the police and government, they like to see numerical evidence and tend to take charities more seriously when statistics are presented. Therefore, the project has decided the best way to approach gathering this data is through semi-structured interviews, so that we get the most out of the participants we gather.
As a class we are excited to take this challenge on and give it our best. It’s the first research project of its kind.