In my role as the deputy chair of the Southwark police independent advisory group (IAG) in London, I have been participating in sessions to view body-worn video and offer feedback. I am pleased to report that the majority of the examples shown to me have included police officers successfully interacting with suspects in a friendly and courteous manner, acting professionally and sometimes with humour.
But on 3 June, I observed a stop and search on a busy main road outside my home and asked myself: “How many plainclothes police officers does it take to stop (in two unmarked cars) a young black moped rider?” Answer: eight. Though the officers were professional, there were too many of them. Was it necessary to handcuff the lad while they searched him? The biker looked terrified. He was innocent. Nothing was found. The eight officers left.
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