Newham group fundraising to put police stop and search ‘on trial’

Met police conducting a stop and search

Met police conducting a stop and search - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Anti-racist campaigners hope to put stop-and-search “on trial” with a fundraising drive backed by poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) is crowdfunding online to enable monitoring of the way police use the power to search people in the street without a warrant.

They are taking donations throughout October and hope to use them to scrutinise the government’s reforms to the powers, announced in August to address concerns that black people are stopped disproportionately.

The appeal was launched with a video featuring Zephaniah, a patron of the group.

NMP cites an investigation by the Police and Crime Committee and London Assembly, which quoted the Independent Police Complaints Commission stating that young black and ethnic minority people “have the least confidence both in the police and the police complaints system”.

The group wants to work with young people to see if the reforms make improvements.

Estelle du Boulay, director of NMP, said: “We believe that unless more people are supported to hold the police to account by making complaints – and are provided with expert, independent support through an often time-consuming and frustrating complaints process – then these reforms will fail to bring about genuine change.”

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Mr Zephaniah added: “We want to get young people to talk about their experiences when they get stopped, to report things, and we want to make young people aware of their rights.”

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