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Criminology students grill the police on Stop and Search procedures

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Criminology students Kirill Komovalov, Lara Wycherley, Tyler Houseago and their classmates visited the Cambridgeshire Constabulary headquarters in Huntingdon. They joined members of the local community and senior police officers in a community scrutiny group to give their opinion on the force’s Stop and Search policy.

“We were shown clips / recordings of stop and search activities,” explains Tyler. “In one they stopped a van, and although the search was carried out very calmly, they only spoke to three of the five passengers,” adds Kirill.

“It was interesting to see how people’s dress affected their chances of being stopped,” says Lara. “People wearing hoodies have tended to be stopped more in the past.”

“We heard how the stop and search policy has changed,” says Tyler. “For a start, they have reduced the number from 10,000 to 1,000 stops a month.”

“They’ve also made their stop and searches more focused and more closely based on information they’ve received,” adds Kirill. “Previously you were far more likely to be stopped if you were a black male, but they are now addressing this bias and reducing random stops.”

“It was good to be able to make our own suggestions on how the procedures could be improved,” concludes Lara.

Tom Genillard, Criminology course team leader, comments:

“All our students were a credit to the college and got really involved in the discussion of a contentious issue. Our students benefitted from being in a workplace environment, and gained useful vocational experience relevant to their course.  We were also invited back to future meetings, and the Constabulary have expressed an interest in holding future events at Long Road.”

Main photo: Kirill, Lara and Tyler