Release's Y Stop film helps young people exercise their rights and hold police to account over their controversial stop and search powers.

Release's Y Stop film helps young people exercise their rights and hold police to account over their controversial stop and search powers.

For anyone who bothered to listen to young people involved in the 2011 London riots, the police’s use of stop and search was one of the biggest causes of the anger that boiled over and left the city in flames.

Stop and search (or stop and frisk, as it’s known in the US) continues to be one of the most controversial police tactics, largely because ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted. In London, figures have decreased after huge public pressure but black people are still 12 times more likely to be targeted than whites.

“Stop and search is not just the invasion into young people’s lives and privacy, but also the invasion into our psyche” says Jay Spinks, a youth member of the stop and search campaign group StopWatch. “As a result of being stopped and searched so much, the trauma left behind always has me worrying when I see police cars, always having to prepare a reason for being in the location I’m in because not having an answer ready could lead to more questions and allegations”

Activism group Release have released the Y Stop film as part of a wider campaign which aims to teach young people how to exercise their rights and hold police to account. It’s shot by Fully Focused Productions, a youth-led media organisation who made Riot from Wrong, the multi award-winning documentary about the 2011 riots.

Find out more about Release’s Y Stop campaign and watch the second part of the video here.