Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stop and account & Drug searches

By now most UK people will have heard about police powers regarding Stop and search and its recently renamed stop and account recommendation 61 from the Steven Laurence enquiry

For our friends from other realms, The Inquiry found that institutional racism played a part in the flawed investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, notably in the treatment of the Lawrence family and Duwayne Brooks, the surviving victim; in the failure of officers to recognize the murder as a `racially motivated crime’; and in the lack of urgency and commitment in some areas of the investigation.

Now what is institutional racism, I can tell you that it does not mean police officers are all racist gits! No what it means that the policys and systems that were in place at the time of Stevens death it meant that his murder was not properly assessed as been a hate crime.

I use the term hate crime more that racially motivated, as it covers a lot more than simply race. For me it reflects the right for every body to live their life how they choose and if they are subjected to criminal behaviour purely on who and what they are then that is a hate crime.

Rightly so the report made Met police be more accountable for there systems in stop and search but also better recording of those stops, I do not think I know of any officer who thinks this is not fair and right, and so on to the issue of a drugs search.
(Aside from the intelligence asset it then becomes!)

These "stop & search" are governed under the same recommendation general but there is a bit more "uppmh" to them they are not Section One stops but under section 23 of the misuse of drugs act there is a specific offence of obstruction of a drugs search which is an arrestable offence. Under section 1 if you a bit stroppy you will in all likely hood find your self been taken to a police station custody suite to complete the search but on a drugs search you may be arrested.

Even these drug searches should be recorded and now since the met police have changed the procedure again they are now Stop and account forms.
What this means is that the police will record every interaction were they stop a member of public and ask them to account for there presence in an area. Now this is different that investigation of crime or a roadside stop where questions to identify and report traffic offenders as these have different powers under road traffic law making it an offence to refuse details, It has got to a point now were young people today are unsure what exactly there rights are.
Thankfully it has been left to us officers to explain it all. - Hmmm.

Thoughts ideas and comments most welcome on this point I have raised.


Anonymous said...

I stopped...some one else better be accounting cause I'm starting to hallucinate and it isn't drug use!

thinblueline said...

Good boy :)
You passed the test.. have a gold star !

Argos_Employee said...

Nice Pumpkin! Did you cut it yourself?

And thanks for adding me to yoru blogroll.



Sergeant Snowman said...

Hey, why worry about rights the police will be to busy filling out forms to stop anyone!

Merys said...

Like the blog, but particularly like the pumpkin, why didn't I think of that when I did mine!

Anonymous said...

Since we live in a free society why should anyone have to 'account for there presence in an area'

You specifically mention 'young people' are the police institutionally ageist ?

thinblueline said...

Institutinally ageist ? I dont think so I count myself as a young person

blacksanction said...

In Kingston Ontario Canada the police call the forms contact cards. The forms are filled out by officers when the they have contact with the public in problem areas or circumstances. The information recorded has on occasion resulted in crimes being solved. It is an intelligence tool.

Roberto said...

Thanks mate and good luck, you've got a great site!

thinblueline said...

Anonymous - The term is used as such " billy burglar is found in a back garden - police ask billy to account his presence - billy tells a porkie pie cause hes a burglar and has been caught.

Investigations - 183 | Crimes Solved- 85 | No Crime - 47
% Detection rate - 46.4 % (Counting year April 08 )

Investigations - 129 | Crimes Solved- 53 | No Crime - 36
% Detection rate - 49.3 % (Counting year April 07 )