Claudia has spent a lifetime campaigning against racism and injustice. She is the chair of Positive Action Training, which provides a pathway to employment for black and minority ethnic communities. She is also the chairperson of Operation Trident and a board member of London CrimestoppersYup, she’s a professional race hustler. I guess we can figure out before we start what she’s going to recommend, can’t we?
We should all be concerned that Sir Paul Stephenson, the new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is advocating the continued and widespread use of the historically failed tool of "stop and search", which allows the police to act without the need for "reasonable grounds" as in Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.Why is it false..? Because ‘young people’ are still managing to stab each other? If so, surely that’s an argument that they aren’t searching enough, or enough of the right type.
Claims by the police and other government agencies that stop and search is saving the lives of our young people are false. Clearly this is far from the case. The propaganda and rhetoric that emanate are simply designed to appease a public already wounded and hurt.
But no, it seems it’s because being stopped creates more stab-prone ‘young people’, just as the crackdown on murdering Islamic scum is creating more terrorists (another favourite lefty myth):
I have written elsewhere and on too many occasion about the excessive use of stop and search in a flawed attempt at justice; alienating instead a generation of young people who appear powerless in the face of this adult use of power.‘Young people’. ‘Communities’. Hmm, I may be wrong, but I think we have a case of ‘Murderers Of No Appearance’ here….
These blanket swoops into communities and neighbourhoods without intelligence or justification, as in the case of the draconian use of Section 60, is a clear abuse and an infringement of our civil liberties. It is a costly exercise in public relations that cannot be sustained.
No community is going to idly sit by and accept the long-term and extensive use of stop and search; it is a dangerous proposition, and Stephenson needs to take heed.Really..? What are they going to do? Sounds like a threat to me.
Perhaps the government should rethink the idea of handing someone like you taxpayers money to threaten law and order breaches if you don't get your own way…
Given the scale of the current excessive use – young people have been stopped and searched more than 209,269 times since May last year alone – it is clear that the police have failed miserably with regard to their own guiding principles.How have they ‘failed miserably’? Has every single search turned up nothing?
No. Commenters are quick to point out to Ms Webbe that in actual fact, they prevented 4,223 knives from being used in future attacks on other ‘young people’.
And she’ll find it hard to dispute these figures, since they come from – the ‘Guardian’!
At this rate there will be a disproportionate number of innocent young people in London whose childhood experience will be one of stop and search. Those who have experienced it will know how traumatic this practice is and neither the police nor the Conservative mayor of London have set out any plans for how young people will be supported in the aftermath of this experience.Oooh, let me guess! By a ‘charity’ or quango with you on the board, perhaps…?
The vast majority of our communities are law abiding. It is unfortunate that the actions of a small minority and the lack of early prevention are stigmatising whole neighbourhoods, communities and young people themselves.If the ‘vast majority’ are law abiding, doesn’t that tell you something..?
Yes, we are living in an increasingly violent society. But this is spurred on by global dynamics, and our children and young people have become collateral damage. There are too many young people who are products of generational poverty, commercialism and corporate greed and are vulnerable, for example, to an international global network of violence that appears to have infiltrated our TV screens, games consoles and digital media. We have a societal responsibility to protect our children and young people.Oh. ‘Society made them do it’, eh, Ms Webbe? You know, go back 200 years and you’d be claiming it was ‘the Devil’ instead.
How about admitting that free will plays a big part in this? Or how to explain the hundreds of thousands of children that don’t pick up a knife, or a gun, even while being raised in the same environment?
Better policing solutions, such as Operation Trident, involve intelligence-led policing and community partnership and more sophisticated prevention, tackling for example the trade in dangerous weapons. The police could also spend more time confronting a multibillion-pound drugs industry trading on our inner-city doorsteps. They could deploy more policing resources to deal with the cyberspace infiltration of those who would abuse our children and young people.As long as they somehow manage to do all that without stopping and searching ‘young people’, I presume?
Otherwise, won’t you be back on these pages shouting the odds yet again?
But then, it seems it’s everyone’s fault but the ‘young people’ themselves:
The real long-term solutions however are societal – based on tackling the economic, social and political inequalities that have led to a poverty of aspiration and, for too many young people and families, a lack of opportunities ahead.For some children, a live childhood would be a step up. Why don’t you try to put that before your incessant desire to see your name in print and on the various boards of quangos and ‘initiatives’, Ms Webbe. You never know, it might actually help.
Our children and young people are our future and we as adults are accountable, it is our responsibility to challenge the intrusive use of stop and search and enable our children to have a better childhood.
It certainly can’t hinder things any more than your current actions…