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Nov 20, 2012

SSLP get free Know Your Rights workshop programme underway


SSLP's Stop-and-search:Know Your Rights programme got under way in November 2012 at youth-action fair Envision in Westminster with 20 energetic teenagers participating in what proved to be a fun, informative and engaging workshop.

The mixed group of 16 to 18-year-olds from across London listened intently as they were taken through the legalities of stop-and-search by our team of volunteer lawyers who explained what the police expect from them and what they should expect from the police.

They also heard that while stop-and-search is not voluntary and the police can use force if necessary they should insist on their record of the stop and complain if they feel they were mistreated as well as given numbers of lawyers who will act for free should they be arrested.

But the fun really started when seven participants got to act out a specially devised play that took them through the difficult choices they could face if they are stopped by police and the mixed results that could occur.

Despite a little initial nervousness in stepping-up the group threw themselves into acting out the roles of police officers and innocent youths while entertaining the whole room and provoking some serious thought.

The third part of the workshop was a Judge Judy style sequence with two groups putting the case for and against stop-and-search. The third group decided if the controversial tactic should be kept or dumped which resulted in a surprising, but mature verdict.

Welcome Samba, who attends sixth-form college in Forest Hill, said: “I think it was really great. I learned a lot. I knew about stop-and-search, but this time it was a lot more in depth. Now I know how to deal with it. I've never been stopped and searched, but if I do I will know to come with a good manner; be easy, be cool, you know. So I really enjoyed the lesson.”

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