A NEW campaign to get young people understanding the rules around police stop and searches hit a school.
Police officers gave a presentation to Year Ten pupils from St Edmund’s Catholic School, Arundel Street, Portsmouth, to teach them the reasons why they might be stopped and searched.
The students were involved in a number of activities including judging if someone deserved to stopped and searched by holding up search’ or ‘no search’ cards.
They watched mock CCTV footage showing suspicious behaviour which might lead to a police officer carrying out a stop and search and the type of pressure officers are under in those situations.
Celia Axton, assistant headteacher at St Edmund’s said: ‘The children said they learned a lot from the presentation and they found it interesting.
‘The way the presentation was done meant the pupils were given a lot of information and were told how to keep themselves safe when they are out and about.
‘It also gave them information about their rights and the power of the police.’
The new campaign, Keep Calm and Know Your Rights, was launched by Hampshire Constabulary after they conducted a study about police stop and searches.
They found that 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.
Chief Inspector Annabel Berry, project leader, said: ‘The key conclusion was that too many of the young people we consulted felt disengaged from us – leading to a lack of understanding about our powers and their rights.
‘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.’
To combat this issue, the police will be going to schools to help teach the students their rights and the rules behind a stop and search.