Smartphone app could “raise quality of outcome” for stop and search victims

Report by Pierre Fox

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Smartphone users are now able to submit information related to their stop and search experiences, thanks to a newly launched mobile app.

The ‘Stop and Search’ application allows users to upload details of their police encounter, including the participating officer’s badge number.

The app allows for both named and anonymous submissions, and all information will be added to a report set to be released after a year.

The police force is currently under investigation for stop and search malpractice, following a report claiming that 27% of stop and search incidences were either not legally justified or lacked recorded justification altogether.

As well as offering users the chance to submit their experiences, the app informs users of their legal rights during a stop and search. Commenting on the uncertainty facing recipients of the police check, app designer Aaron Sonson told Al Jazeera: “It’s just worse if you don’t know what you can say or do to get out of that situation.”

The three men spearheading the project have declined police funding in order to avoid any conflicts of interest. “It’s really important to let people know we’re independent from the Met” Satwant Kenth, another of the app designers, explained.

Superintendent Simon Rose of the Metropolitan Police, has wished Satwant and Aaron luck with the app, hoping to work with them rather than against. According to Rose, the new accountability provided by the app could help “raise the quality of outcome” when officers stop and search members of the public.

The app will soon be available to Apple users, and is currently available on Android and BlackBerry phones.