Monday, September 17, 2012

POLICE AND Inner City Youth Work - standing up for justice in the community.

Inner City Youth Work - standing up for justice in the community.
Young members were being picked up by Police, arrested and charged  on false 'drunk' charges.
PC X approached Terry B, leaned over him face to face and said “You stink of beer and you are drunk.” Terry B said “What are you talking about, I’ve not had a drink!” The officer then grabbed his left wrist and top of same arm and pulled him up on his feet and led him to the police car. Terry B did not struggle. At the same time, PC Z approached Martin S and said “Come on, you as well – you’re drunk.” The officers grabbed his left arm and pulled him to his feet.
One day I had a letter from our local Member of Parliament who had met a group of teenage members of the Youth Project over a drink at the local Labour Party social club.
He was concerned to hear their “bitter complaints” and their confession that “we are not angels, but the police are worse”, and requested a meeting between senior police, the teenagers and myself. 
It seems the boys had confidence in the Youth Centre as a venue; the MP himself set up the meeting and chaired it. 

He had always been supportive of the youth work at the project and had a personal concern about the violence in the community.
The meeting consisted of the senior police officers, a probation officer, nine teenage young men, two staff and the MP and myself. It was no light agenda. The nine boys present had received a total of forty-eight ‘drunk’ charges against them. One teenager was the highest, with nineteen charges!
It was not a slanging match but a dialogue, and I am certain it did some good. Men in authority, in power, confronted young men with real feelings of injustice. 

from Gutter Feelings.