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Is ‘Stop and Search’ an Effective Policing Tool for Children and Young People? 29 October 2017

The Police Service for Northern Ireland is quoted by The Detail, in their investigation in to Stop and Search (March, 2017) saying,

“the PSNI operates to keep people safe,

“We do that through detection (arrest, prosecution) but quite often we prefer prevention and deterrence to stop crimes or harm to people occurring in the first place.

“the fact is that arrest is not necessarily a successful outcome for PSNI nor is it the only successful outcome.

“In many incidents we stop and search people, and in particular young people, to try and deal with the real issues of drug misuse and underage drinking.

“We also aim to prevent young people from carrying offensive weapons or carrying materials, for example fireworks, which may encourage them to get involved in anti-social behaviour.”

The PSNI have also said that new officers are being taught that stop and search is an opportunity for engagement. The evidence suggests differently, engagement with young people has to be built on respect, which includes civility not the assumption that the child is “up to no good”.