UK Police snap children during stop and search
Scotland Yard has admitted its officers have been photographing children who are stopped and searched even after they have been found to be innocent.
Police in Lambeth, south London, claim the tactic helps fight street crime and insist the pictures are kept on a database only for intelligence-gathering purposes. But the civil rights group Liberty has condemned the measure, and a leading community group working with the police has described the tactic as “sinister”.
On Wednesday, police announced the temporary suspension of the tactic after meeting with the community police consultative group for Lambeth.
Last week, Sandra Moodie told how her son Jordan had been stopped and searched by plainclothes officers on his way home from school. They found he was carrying only school books, but took his picture.
Critics claim it marks the return of a new form of the “sus” law. James Welch, the legal director of Liberty, said: “The police don’t have carte blanche to do anything that they think will help prevent crime; they have obligations under the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act.”
In a statement, the police said: “The [Met] has, since 1998, employed the tactic of overtly photographing or filming persons in the street as a way of preventing offences, gathering evidence and intelligence and identifying offenders.”
I really thought there was a law against this sort of ‘abuse’ of children’s rights. Well, there is, but for some reason people don’t bother calling the government and seem to think that the lack of autonomy for children is a good thing. Strangely enough, there’s little research done on this… though there are suggestions that the lack of autonomous experiences for children is the cause of disaffection and a sense of disenfranchisement in children. Something I want to explore more.