Essex Police have a range of powers to help us prevent crime, protect the public and keep people safe. Stop and search remains a key tool in terms of reducing crime by removing weapons and drugs from our streets and can provide valuable intelligence to officers to tackle local issues. However, we understand that the process can seem intrusive to the individual, which is why Essex Police vow to:
• Carry out searches in a fair, respectable, and effective manner that supports public confidence • Educate and inform the individual being stopped, why they’re being stopped, by whom and on what grounds - as well as giving them the opportunity to feedback on their individual experiences • Remain transparent with our communities by publishing our stop and search data (you can find stats on our website) as well as invite the public to independently scrutinise and discuss our stop and search processes through our body worn video (BWV) panels
Without utilising the power of stop and search, individuals we suspect of having participated in or are about to commit a crime would potentially evade justice and we would be faced with a much tougher challenge on our streets.
But what’s your knowledge of an Essex Police stop and search? Do you know what to expect?
We recently visited colleges across Essex and held focus groups with more than 500 students to better understand their perception of what a stop and search entails and gauge their relationship with the police.
Out of all students surveyed, a staggering 89% claimed to know what happens with a stop and search. But 80% of those believed people get stopped for simply looking suspicious which leads to some anxiety when police are present.
Superintendent Philip Stinger said:
“By visiting these colleges we were able to clearly explain to students what a stop and search is, why they happen and what the process is. It was also a great opportunity to challenge some of the myths around this valuable crime prevention tool.”
But, we want to know what you think. So, we have created a quick and easy quiz to help us understand your views and knowledge and point you in the right direction if you want to learn more.
Test your current knowledge of stop and search before you learn more – Take our mini myth-busting quiz.
*Where does the data from the quiz go and what do we do with it once submitted? We gather the information and feedback any learnings internally. We also use it to understand the knowledge amongst Essex residents and identify any gaps so we know where to target our proactive work going forward.