BCU Criminology and Policing students have volunteered to assist with stop and search scrutiny panels for the West Midlands Police.
These types of operations can be damaging to public image, public perceptions of the police and police legitimacy. Scrutiny from local community members can help increase public confidence that the police are acting fairly.
A handful of criminology and policing students are accompanying police officers as part of ‘Operation Rimush’ to provide feedback to police officers on how they conduct their stop and searches. Students will be able to view body cam footage and provide similar feedback to strengthen legitimacy as local community members.
Zakia Amir, a student on our BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degree course, tells us about their experience:
“Being able to witness Operation Rimush first-hand was an exciting experience that opened many doors of knowledge for me. Officers carried out their duty respectfully and calmly, aware of the barriers that come with stop and search.
“Officers throughout the operation had a friendly relationship with the community. They were not aggressive, nor did they target certain ethnic groups. Officers were polite and during their searches respected the boundaries of the individual, communicating with them in a calm formal manner to avoid any need for force to be used.
“Officers carried out their duties to the best standard. As a student, observing them during their work made me appreciate how much they do to protect the community and battle the never-ending cycle of crime.”
Sharda Murria, Lecturer in BA (Hons) Criminology and BSc (Hons) Professional Policing, adds, “Stop and search scrutiny panels and accompanied police patrols are important for enhancing public confidence in the police. We’re very proud of our Criminology and Policing students for volunteering their time to attend scrutiny panels in their local communities.
“Our students’ feedback to officers at times of increased police activity (like with Operation Rimush) serves a valuable purpose in reassuring communities that officers are acting in a transparent and legitimate manner.”
On top of this, of course, it’s great experience for our students on the Criminology and Policing degree courses, who get direct experience of how police forces conduct their work and the potential issues they are presented with in their profession.