A ‘nationally representative survey’ shows that only 36% of Black respondents trust the police, compared to 75% of their White peers. Recent research conducted by Crest Advisory into children’s experiences and views of the police and stop and search highlights the ‘alarming[ly]’ low levels of trust Black children and teenagers have in the police.
1542 children and young people aged between 10 and 18 were surveyed. Black respondents had the lowest trust figure of any ethnic group. Breaking down the figures further shows that Black Caribbean children trusted the police the least. Black girls had the lowest levels of trust. East Midlands and Greater London were the areas with the lowest levels of trust.
Despite children wanting to trust the police, their responses were influenced by the negative interactions they and those close to them had with the police. The figures show that 25% of Black respondents trust the police to be fair when using stop and search powers. Only 36% of Black respondents believe exercising these powers in their area helps them feel safer, compared to 64% of their White peers. Although the research also highlights an understanding of the potential usefulness of stop and search amongst most children, minority ethnic children were mainly found to fundamentally distrust how the powers are used.
One participant who had been stopped and searched three times in 12 months found the experience ‘humiliating’ and ‘embarrassing’. “I probably wouldn’t say they treated me like a child, I would say they treated me more like an adult. It seemed it was a bit hard for them to tell my age, and I would say they probably need to change that for youths,” he added.
The research ‘worryingly’ found that young Black people were less likely to rely on the police if in danger, this was in comparison to both White young people and Black adults. Deputy Chief Constable Tyron Joyce, the UK’s highest ranking Black officer, found the report ‘shaming’ and ‘incredibly sad.’ Joyce has been involved in the development of the Police Race Action Plan, aiming to dismantle the discrimination and unfairness inherent in Black individuals’ treatment.