Chair of Islington stop and search monitoring group urges youngsters to join and help scrutinise police
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:10 19 July 2019
The chair of Islington's stop and search monitoring group has urged youngsters to get involved in holding police to account for their actions.
Sheri Lawal leads the monthly sessions aimed at ensuring cops follow the laws on how to carry out the searches, a delicate tactic used to get drugs, or more commonly weapons, off the streets.
She said the group, supported by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), is vital in ensuring no police abuse their power or mishandle suspects. As youngsters are often the targets, she is now asking for their input.
"People should attend the Stop and Search because it holds the police to account which is especially important in our current climate of knife crime," she said.
"If you or anyone that you know has been affected by a stop and search that you were not happy with, then by attending the monthly meeting, you too will be able to monitor the police's conduct."
Earlier this year Sheri told the Gazette she supported the tactic as long as it was done lawfully.
"Police are under a lot of pressure," she said. "Especially in the current climate where there's a lot of young people being killed. I think as long as it's done correctly and lawfully and not an abuse of the law then they have to do what they have to do."
The meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at Islington Town Hall.
"We meet once a month, and try and meet monthly with police," Sheri said. "We'll go to the station and look at reports and redacted data around stop and search and make sure it's lawful and being done in accordance with the law.
"We select cases randomly and police will also give us figures for each month. If we find things we think can be acted on they will take them away and work on it.
"Not every police officer is going to remember every single law but it's our job to make sure they are."
Anyone interested can contact Sheri at firstname.lastname@example.org, vice chair Jennifer Gabbidon at email@example.com.
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