…Sussex PCSO's issue two schoolboys with stop and search forms for damage they didn't cause.
12 year-old Jacob Mogre and Charlie Stakim, 11, were about to start sledging down a hill in West Sussex, when, as explained by the Daily Mail:
…they were beckoned by two police community support officers (and) asked why they were not in school and then quizzed about damage to a nearby fence.
They politely told the officers they knew nothing about the fence, but instead of simply being allowed to carry on playing they were given an official ‘stop and search’ form which they had to sign themselves.
Their parents have now been told the youngsters’ details will now go on a police database.
There are three points to make from this story. The first is in reference to that final line – these are two innocent boys whose details should be immediately binned. They committed no offence and they should absolutely not be added to any database.
The second is that there was simply no need for the PCSOs to issue the 'stop and search' papers. Community policing should be about having friendly chats with the public. The police had no reason to suspect the boys other than the fact they were out sledging. So why not just ask without the paperwork?
Finally, it is cases like this which demonstrate why the ECHR's decision on section 44 needs to be taken up by the government as soon as possible. It is a deeply flawed method of solving or preventing crimes which, more often than not, targets innocent people completely unnecessarily.
By Dylan Sharpe