About the project
StopWatch are excited to kick off a national research project speaking to young women about their experiences of stop and search.
The project was devised in response to girls and young women reporting stop and search encounters to be frightening and humiliating experiences. They expressed frustration that despite being directly impacted by stop and search powers, they were excluded from community and policy discussions, and left feeling voiceless and ignored. The research we are conducting will give a voice to and empower these and other young women.
The teams who will be carrying out the research are young women between the ages of 16 and 30 years. They are being trained in research skills by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng, associate dean and director of undergraduate research at Greenwich University. We believe that with continued training and assistance the research teams can be supported to influence policy using an array of new skills in research, policy and advocacy.
Everyone involved in this project is female, and our motto is ‘Research About Us, By Us, For Us’. We believe that women are best placed to research and tell their own stories, and young women being interviewed by their peers will produce a comfortable and authentic interview process.
We interviewed Dr Koshka Duff, who received an apology from the Met police in January 2022 after a strip search [read more about the case here].
Watch the video to learn about her harrowing experience as well as her views on how stop and search affects young women and girls.
Blog posts, newsletter, and podcast
We have a newsletter / podcast you can sign up to! Just click on the button below to sample our content and sign up!Subscribe to the girls and young women's research project newsletter
We also have a series of blog posts detailing the project as it unfolds. Click on the links below to find out more.Girls and young women's research project: Week 1
Stop and search girls questionnaire
To make this research really count we need 5,000 responses! It will only take a couple of minutes to complete our quick anonymous survey, have your voice heard and contribute to this ground-breaking research.
If you have had a stop and search experience that you would like to discuss in a more detailed interview, please contact national research lead Shenna (contact details also in bio).Questionnaire form
In keeping with our organisational values of collaboration, inclusivity and diversity, the project will be a collaboration between StopWatch, and groups from the following regions:
- London (flagship research team)
Click on the links below to find out more about participants from the following regions. To get involved in the project or to find out more information, please contact national research lead Shenna (contact details also in bio).
Our team have been busy hosting events and conducting interviews with young women across the country. We have collected stories from London, Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool! We commend the bravery of the young women who have found their experiences painful and traumatic to retell but have shown both strength and resilience in order to be part of our research and be part of making change for good!
Our findings so far have highlighted key issues that need to be addressed when it comes to the way that girls and women are treated during police encounters.
The most common issues have been:
- Unnecessary use of aggression and force
- Unlawful strip searches being used as method of discipline
- Lack of empathy and compassion in dealing with sensitive issues such as domestic violence
- Lack of female officer presence in situations such as domestic abuse and sex offences
- No safeguarding on release from custody after an arrest
At the heart of this research project is the development and upskilling of the young women who have been trained as researchers. Now that the interview phase is coming to an end, all researchers will be participating in a four-week training course on data analysis, developed and facilitated my advisory board member Dr Becky Clarke.
Once this has been completed the next step will be to go through all the interview data we have collected in order to write a report and publish the findings.