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My 20 year old son got a "stop n search" from the Police

55 replies

whatever17 · 13/04/2011 03:00

I am really angry about it.

He actually has been stopped a few times.

The last time he said "for God's sake, I'm walking my dog!" (small dog)

He has been stopped and the coppers have called me and asked me to describe him for some reason.

I called the local sergeant and said "why don't you stop me? white, 42 year old woman but you always stop my kid - 20 year old white male every time he leaves the house?"

They said - "dunno". I said "how can he go for a walk with his mate without getting stopped?" copper said "good question".

OP posts:

Chil1234 · 13/04/2011 03:29

Does he look like someone on their 'wanted' list? Is he covered in tattoos and piercings or mooching about in a generally 'up to no good' kind of way? Does he have the same name as some local villain? Ditto for the mate he's walking about with. Hopefully, if he keeps being stopped and is pleasant with the officers, they'll start to recognise him eventually and leave him alone....


dontcallmepeanut · 13/04/2011 03:37

My ex-P used to get stopped regularly, too. They will do random searches if they believe someone to be "acting suspiciously", although every time ex-P was stopped, he was just in the process of walking to the pub... Hmm

I agree with chill. Just ask him to try and remain pleasant with the officers, and hope that they'll soon start recognising him, thus leaving him alone.


SuchProspects · 13/04/2011 06:46

Whatever - In general Police aren't allowed to randomly stop and search people except in very defined areas and circumstances. The form your son got should tell him under which power the Police stopped him (along with what they were looking for and why they chose him). If it's section 44 of the Terrorism Act or section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act then he should be able to find out what areas are designated - police don't need any grounds to stop people within these areas, but the areas should be limited to the geography and time specific to the problem being addressed.

If it's under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act they need "reasonable grounds" and those grounds should be part of the reason they chose him on the form. Take a look at the form and see what it says - it may be he engages in behaviour that, while innocent in his case, is also something that could lead an officer to think he might have broken the law. It may be he fits the generic description of young white male and gets stopped a lot because he is often out in areas where there has been recent crime committed by a generic looking young white male that the police are looking for.

If you are just ranting a bit - fair enough. If the stop and searches bother your son he could decide whether it's worth modifying his behaviour or where he goes in order to avoid it. It's also possible the police are unlawfully profiling and a solicitor could write them a letter that makes them sit up a bit and reconsider the way their officers are acting.


HecateQueenOfTheNight · 13/04/2011 06:48

Perhaps, like others say, he fits the description of someone they are looking for or who has form.


Bucharest · 13/04/2011 06:55

You should be pleased the police are out on the streets doing something rather than sat watching the Champions with mugs of tea surely?

Dp was stopped and searched on Boxing Day when he went to the petrol station for a packet of fags. Turned out there had been a smash and grab at a corner shop and he fitted the description.

It's hardly the Birmingham 6 is it?


MrsPresley · 13/04/2011 08:41

My son was stopped by police a few months back.

If my son doesnt have his key with him (and it's late) he will phone when he gets to the stair then give me a bit time to get up before he presses the intercom (we live in a flat).

Anyway he phoned one night then when he pressed I could hear other voices and he said the police have stopped me, so I threw my shoes on and went downstairs to find the police searching him.

The police version was, he was walking along the road, saw them and "dodged" up the path, they went to the end of the street, turned around and he was still standing there using his phone so they thought it looked suspicious.

Sons version was he was coming home, heard a car, had a quick look round and then came up the path and phoned as usual.

I'm glad the police stopped him because I can see how it did look suspicious.

We can laugh about it now, but unfortunately his little run in still doesnt make him remember his keys Angry


TotorosOcarina · 13/04/2011 08:47

DH got stopped riding his bike a while ago, they asked his name and gave him a really hard time when he replied as he has the same surname as some troble makers locally.

They asked why he was wearing gloves- he was riding his bike in the cold Hmm

but then again people always stop him and ask him if he is selling weed Hmm Grin so maybe he just looks unsavory - he doesn'rt even smoke cigs!


Flowerpotmummy · 13/04/2011 08:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

atswimtwolengths · 13/04/2011 09:28

A man stabbed another man about a mile from where my son was. The man who stabbed him had a full beard.

Five minutes later, my son was walking down the road and a police car swung in front of him, blocking his path.

He was searched (for the knife) - when they couldn't find it, they were most frustrated, making call after call.

Then they asked him whether he'd gone home and shaved off his beard. My son was 14 and didn't shave.

All they'd had to go on was the hair colour.


IloveJudgeJudy · 13/04/2011 09:36

I can understand why you are upset if your DS keeps getting stopped. My DB kept getting stopped in his car many years ago. His car was quite distinctive. One day it was to work and back from work. In the end he took all his documents into the police station and said that they must know him/his car by now as they have stopped him so many times. Please would they stop doing it. It stopped.


whatever17 · 16/04/2011 01:41

I don't think my son looks unusual for his age, he wears "heavy metal" t-shirts and doc martins and has long (clean) hair but we happen to live in a very affluent area (we are just normal, but the houses that border us are the bees knees). My son's best mate is also normal but lives in an area bordering mansions.

I was talking to my Dad (79) today and saying that we would make much better burglars as no one pays us any attention.

And I think we have the best police in the world, but my son no longer thinks that.

OP posts:

bananasinpjamas · 16/04/2011 04:23

Does he look like a chav?

Waits for flaming big time


MrsVidic · 16/04/2011 07:20

Oh well the police could just not give a shit, not search him and others in the area. Then somebody could get knifed in a mugging or shot in a fight still at least your son won't be inconvenienced.

Why not complain and waste loads more police time and public resources, I'm sure it will make you feel better.


BelleDameSansMerci · 16/04/2011 07:37

It probably is simply down to appearance or maybe even that he walks the dog at the same time every day (ie could look like a cover for selling/doing something else).

I used to be stopped and searched every single time I went through Customs for work trips. I was a professional woman, appropriately dressed, in my late 30s (at the time). It was literally every time. After I'd asked why several times, I was finally (quietly) told that my briefcase was the perfect size to secrete under a seat and they had to repeatedly check for explosives. I stopped using the briefcase and I haven't been stopped and searched since.

I realise Customs is a bit different but I expect the same priniciple applies if someone is repeatedly stoped.


BelleDameSansMerci · 16/04/2011 07:37

"Stopped" - sorry!


msrisotto · 16/04/2011 07:47 Mark Thomas (political comedian and activist) came up with this stop and search card which you might be interested in.


xStarGirl · 16/04/2011 08:05

Those of you making sarky comments on the lines of "heaven forbid the police do their jobs!", this sounds to me like a clear case of discrimination based on appearance. And you've clearly never experienced it yourself, it's embarrassing and it does make you angry and disillusioned wrt the police force.

Happens to me and my (predominantly) male mates all the time - long (by "normal" standards, i.e. roughly shoulder-length) hair, piercings, rock/metal T-shirts, tattoos. Sometimes we'd get stopped just for being in a group of three/four in the town centre in the middle of the day. On Saturday. Hmm

One time, while one officer was interrogating a friend of mine, the other pulled me aside and tried to give me vague advice about 'falling in with the wrong crowd'. (I look very "normal" compared to my mates, no piercings/tattoos etc.) I had to resist the urge to laugh in her face - so completely out of touch, and falling in to completely untrue stereotypes.
It's not the metal kids they need to look out for, trust me.
Funnily enough, they don't bug us anymore if I've got my son with me Hmm


cookcleanerchaufferetc · 16/04/2011 08:11

On the flip side if you knew what the police had to deal with on a daily basis then maybe you would think differently. If the police in your area are used to reports of bad behaviour etc by people with piercings and long hair then unfortunately you will get stopped. If you are innocent then you will be on your way in no time. If the police are rude, then complain, but don't complain about being stopped .....


Bucharest · 16/04/2011 08:16

Roffling at discrimination based on appearance.

Pray the police have a witness description saying they are looking for a 6ft blonde woman with a Burberry coat and a Chanel handbag.

Are they not allowed to stop anyone fitting that description because it would be discrimination?

Daftest post I've seen in a long time.

(and I used to be like your mates and was often stopped coming through airports because the filth imagined I had a kilo of whizz in my backpack. I don't hold it against them anymore than anyone innocent should)


Hulababy · 16/04/2011 08:20

Believe me if you think this is heavy handed I suggest some of you have a look at the police and their equivalents in some other countries!


cookcleanerchaufferetc · 16/04/2011 08:22

So how many times have you heard of a woman in a Burberry coat and Chanel bag being sought by the police .... And how many times have there been news reports of anti social behaviour by long haired tattooed people ...... Dur, I bet if the police could give stats on this it would be extremely low for the Burberry coat woman and higher for the tattooed person ... Fact of life unfortunately and it does suck to be tarred with the same brush but let's not be stupid about this.


xStarGirl · 16/04/2011 08:25

Daft? Hmm
I know how hard the police work, and I appreciate that. And yes, if they have a description they should stop anyone matching that description. But my point is, a lot of the time they don't. They just stop people because they "look shifty", and it really pisses me off. I'm probably BU to be annoyed by it, but it's a waste of their time and mine, which always gets my back up.

I'm not saying all police officers are like this, of course not. Otherwise I'd be just as bad, wouldn't I?

Like that card msrisotto linked Grin


TandB · 16/04/2011 08:27

It must be incredibly annoying for your son but one thing worth remembering is that there is one of him and a lot of police - so he could be stopped 10 times by different local officers. To him it would look like they were taking the piss - to any one of them there wouldn't be anything odd about their single stop and search.

If it is the same officers every time then it might be worth a letter or visit to the local station, perhaps enclosing a large bundle of stop and search forms with a query about why this keeps happening and what he needs to do to prevent it.

I think it is unlikely to be discrimination, but if anything is said that suggests that it is, then you would be quite right to raise it.


cookcleanerchaufferetc · 16/04/2011 08:32

Actually everyone should be thankful they actually have some police presence! We never see a police officer, or even a pCSO, where we live!


Bogeyface · 16/04/2011 08:34

My DH once witnessed a really nasty fight while he was at work. THere were a hell of alot of people there who saw what was going on.

The police waded in, seperated the fighters and DH hung around (as police asked any witnesses to do) incase they wanted a statement and he got right going over. They accused him of being involved, wanted to search him for drugs and/or weapons and threatened to arrest him if he didnt comply. He was called a liar and a trouble maker when he denied it and said he had been working.

He was the only black person in a crowd of about 30 people.

It was only when his (white) manager pointed out that DH couldnt have been involved as he was working and did they want to see the CCTV to prove it, and that his uniform had no pockets in which to stash anything that they left him alone.

So yes, the police do discriminate based on nothing more than appearance Angry

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