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City and Islington students support research to improve links with the police

Students from @CitynIslington College (CANDI) have contributed to a university research project to look into the relationship between young people and the police.

The research project called Civic Innovation In Community: Safety, Policing and Trust with Young People was led by the University College London (UCL) and Citizens UK.

Researchers Dr Artemis Skarlatidou and Lina Ludwig carried out 20 interviews with Metropolitan Police officials and young people aged 16-25 from across the capital.

The study found young people and the police agreed that there was a lack of trust between police and communities.

It revealed that the root cause of this lay in interactions between the police and young people including stop-and-search.

The research also found young people were not aware of what the Met Police was doing to better engage with communities, while police officers were not aware of the extent of young people’s concerns about racial bias.

However, the research showed young people were willing to participate in projects that improve safety and trust in policing.

Dr Skarlatidou said: “What was striking was the depth of knowledge of young people had about police enforcement methods, but little to no knowledge of the police’s non-enforcement methods of policing, including community outreach.

“This is despite a willingness of young people to participate. Although there is a lack of trust, we can see ways to re-establish trust in policing.”

Boz Arslan, Vice-president of CANDI Student Union, welcomed the College’s involvement in the research and the need for better understanding between young people and the police.

Government figures continue to show that black and ethnic minority (BAME) people are still 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people.

Sinead Morgan, Student Engagement Coordinator at CANDI, said:

“The project has given our students the opportunity to talk about their experiences and ideas around youth safety and the police.

“Given the disproportionate number of BAME youths who are stopped and searched, according to recent government figures, it is important that these channels of communication between BAME students, the UCL researchers and the police are open.

“It is a valuable effort to increase understanding and hopefully improve relationships between young people and the police.”

Froi Legaspi, Community Organiser at Citizens UK, said:

“Young people are willing to stand up for youth safety and good policing.

“With the Black Lives Matter movement continuing unabated, now is the opportunity for policy makers to work with communities on improved trust through better police training and accountability mechanisms.”

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