Stop & Search is a massive fear for some parents
At around 10 years of age our kids present us with a question most parents dread. “When can I go out to the shops on my own?” But what I’ve found since starting this website three years ago, is that for some parents it’s more scary than for others. For non-white parents in urban areas they have to think, what about stop & search by the police?
As a white parent, this possibility had never entered my head for my own sons. And it strikes me that it’s incredibly unfair that with all the fears we parents have as our children grow and circulate without us, that the fear of stop & search only affects non-white parents.
Of course, we all want our children to be safe from knife crime. And as the number of stabbings rose in London this year, I rang one of the non-white Dads who advises me on BeTeenUs to see if he still wanted Stop & Search banned. “Yes,” he said. “You can’t imagine the horror of your own son being stopped and searched by the police, especially if it’s happened to you.”
Stop & Search Solutions
There has to be a third way. In the 90s in the UK, the police didn’t want to arm themselves when weapons flooded into Western Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall – even though armed crime was rising. They knew it would create more crime rather than less. So they set about developing use of the Taser and created mobile armed units that could be deployed to the scene of an offence involving firearms.
What I’d like to see is a third way developed towards Stop & Search. Parents of teenagers and the police should get together an find a way that ensures knife crime is prevented (which it isn’t through stop & search anyway), and parents are spared the horror of having to fear their child being questioned by the police because of their skin colour.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, please comment below and we’ll be in touch.