Crawley teenagers join stop and search patrols

Crime
Crime

Two Crawley teenagers will see police stop and search powers in action.

Nadine Smith, 18, and Ciaran Barron, 17, will act as lay observers, making sure that the stop and search powers are being used properly.

The pair, who are members of the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Youth Commission Independent Advisory Group (IAG), will accompany Gatwick officers during stop and search patrols at the airport and in Haywards Heath, on Friday (January 30)

Nadine, who volunteers at a local school, said: “It’s important in breaking down the barriers between young people and the police. For me, it’s going to be really interesting to see first-hand what the police do on patrol and I can then feed this back to other young people.”

Ciaran, a student, said: “I want to experience first-hand the sort of things officers need to go though and the issues that come up and how they deal with it on an ordinary day.

“As a Youth Commission member, I can then feedback on my experience and try to get the point of view across to other young people.”

Police & Crime Commissioner katy Bourne said: “A report launched by my Youth Commission highlighted that stop and search in Sussex is a particular issue for young people and a potential barrier to them building a positive relationship with the police. So, I fully support their involvement in lay observation of Sussex Police’s use of these powers. Following the HMIC report last year into police use of stop and search, I welcome these positive steps taken by Sussex Police to improve transparency and public confidence in how they deploy stop and search powers.

“Stop and search powers are necessary to help the police tackle crime and keep people safe. However, being stopped by a police officer can be a worrying experience for most people and so it is important that Sussex residents know and understand their rights.”

Superintendent Laurence Taylor, who oversees the Youth Commission Independent Advisory Group (IAG) said: “In December 2014 Sussex Police implemented the Government’s Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme which aims to prevent crime and build the communities’ trust and confidence. In an effort to be even more transparent Nadine and Ciaran will be part of the pilot ‘ride along scheme’ giving them an opportunity to accompany and observe police officers as they carry out their day-to-day duties.”