25th May marks the murder of George Floyd and the day was themed “Day of Enlightenment”. In Hampshire you’re up to eleven times likely to be stopped and searched. Following a workshop from Black History month last year, it was important to follow up with an exercise and more interactive session geared towards the youth.
This event was in collaboration with the Basingstoke Town Neighbourhood Police, led by Sergeant Chris Brindley who took students through GO WISELY, an acronym used as a guide in the event of stop and search. This stands for Grounds for suspicion, the Object and purpose of the search, the Warrant card if the officer is not in uniform, the Identity of the officer; name and badge number, the Station to which they’re attached, an Entitlement to a copy of the search, the Legal power being used and finally You are being detained for the purpose of the search.
This is the expectation and due process in no particular order. Students posed challenging questions throughout that fuelled discussion while raising some of their concerns around aggression and if they have the right to ask questions during a search.
It was established, that for several who had experienced this or knew of friends and family who had, the Entitlement to a copy of the search was missing as they were unaware of the form and were not informed of it. This was a huge take away for all. Sergeant Brindley encouraged them to ask for this form or take it when offered. However, Katherine Bejide, a teacher from QMC felt that in this age, “it should be automatically sent digitally via text or email immediately following a search.”
Schools represented were Queen Mary’s College as hosts, Basingstoke College of Technology, Aldworth College, Brighton Hill community School and Costello School.
Also in attendance was the Borough Council, Cllr Bound as portfolio holder and Paul Green from the Community Safety Team.
A Message from Police and Crime Commissioner
Consider becoming a member of the YIAG
Joining the Youth Independent Advisory Group
Students were encouraged to consider applying to join the advisory group currently recruiting in order to have their voices heard and considered in key decision-making.