Y-Stop is a stop and search project created by young people for young people. The project is a collaboration between charities, lawyers, young people, youth workers, community, and media organisations. It is run by Release in partnership with StopWatch.
The project addresses the problems experienced during police-led stop and searches. It aims to give young people the skills to handle stop and search, to inform their interactions with the police, and to provide tools for advice, empowerment, and the reporting of illegal or inappropriate police behaviour. By providing training and tools, the project increases confidence and skills to effectively deal with stop and search.
After working with the talented young people of Hackney Quest, Octavia’s Foundation BASE, Fully Focused, SE1 United, Skyway Blue Hut, Waltham Forest YIAG and Youth Futures over a 12-month consultation period, we have come up with six key principles to help people manage a stop and search more confidently and to reduce the potential for harm. The Y-Stop S.E.A.R.C.H. Card explains each of these six steps, and provides useful information and tips for handling a stop and search.
At Notting Hill Carnival 2015, we launched our Y-Stop app - which was made by the same creators of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) app – which aims to increase police accountability. The app allows users to connect with expert lawyers and instantly receive free confidential support and advice. The app is free to download on all iOS and Android devices. Additionally, we have also created an app tutorial to help users get the most out of the app.
In the same year, Y-Stop also launched a short two-part film (below) focusing on three characters' different experiences of stop and search, as well as introducing the audience to our six key principles and explaining how they can be implemented in different scenarios. The film stars Percelle Ascott (Mandem on the Wall), Danielle Vitalis (Youngers) and Ricky Groves (Eastenders) to name a few. The film was directed by award-winning director Teddy Nygh (Riot from Wrong).
We also provide peer training to prepare and advise young people on how to apply the six principles.