POLICE officers had the right to remain dancing as they took part in a ‘flash mob’ to promote a new education campaign.
Around 60 police officers, staff and volunteers, surprised shoppers and visitors at Gunwharf Quays, as they took part in a three-minute dance routine.
Wearing high-visiblity jackets, members danced to Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Stronger, Faster.
Onlookers stopped to watch the spectacle in the main square.
It was organised to promote a new campaign Keep Calm And Know Your Rights.
The project aims to improve young people’s knowledge of their rights when stopped and searched by the police.
It comes as a result of reseach carried out by Hampshire Constabulary.
The survey asked for 325 people aged between 14 to 21 who had been stopped and searched for their opinions on the experience.
Of those asked, 41 per cent of children, teenagers and young people last stopped and/or searched in the city did not understand the reasons why they had been stopped.
Project leader Chief Inspector Annabel Berry thanked those who helped with the exercise.
‘We’re grateful to everyone who gave their time and trust in sharing candid opinions about stop and search – plus all the police officers and staff who gave their time on days off to take part in the flash mob,’ she said.
‘Young people were integral and instrumental to the creation of this campaign, which aims to raise and reinforce mutual understanding and respect.
‘Speaking with young people directly, we are acutely aware that being stopped and searched can be a difficult and frightening experience.
‘It is helped by a full explanation of what is happening and why.
‘The key conclusion of our research was too many of the young people we consulted felt disengaged and distant from us – leading to a lack of understanding about our powers and their rights.
‘Seventy-four per cent of the young people surveyed said they wanted to know more about their rights when stopped and searched.’
Flash mob dancing has become a phenomenon in recent years – fuelled by video clips which are posted on the internet.
Shopper Karen Levis, of Copnor, witnessed the flash mob.
The 48-year-old said: ‘It was well-executed and an interesting way to engage people with the force.
‘It was fun on a sunny day.’