Unlocking change

StopWatch

StopWatch

StopWatch is a coalition of legal experts, academics, citizens and civil liberties campaigners. It aims to address excess and disproportionate stop and search, and ensure fair, effective policing for all.

Impact

Challenge

While levels of stop and search have fallen in recent years, the practice has become more disproportionate. Black people were stopped and searched at more than nine times the rate of whites in 2018-19. Once stopped and searched, black people are more likely to be arrested as a result than white people, but less likely to be given an out of court disposal.

Impact goal

Injustice and structural inequality is challenged and changed

Priority

StopWatch is unique. There is no other organisation working exclusively on the issue of stop and search and none which can draw on such a wide range of individuals' experiences and perspectives. It is the go-to organisation on stop and search, and has strong links with politicians in both parties, civil servants and police forces. Considering its size, StopWatch has had significant impact which can be attributed to its effective evidence-based advocacy and its collective way of working through its members.

Now is a crucial time for this work. The threat of rising violent crime leading to calls for greater use of stop and search, despite research showing that stop and search has little, if any, measurable impact on knife crime and serious violence, is mirrored by the opportunity of the Black Lives Matter movement shining new light on unequal policing practice.

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