The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched a survey to gather information about young people’s views, experiences and opinions of stop and search.

Stop and search is an operational tool used to prevent, detect and investigate crime. Police officers have a legal power to stop and search members of the public in certain circumstances. The Police Service recognises that stopping and searching young people can be intrusive and are committed to ensuring that any use of this power is carried out lawfully, ensuring young people’s rights are respected and upheld

Inspector Stephen Burke, explained: “In 2020 we formed a stop and search working group focused on children and young people with a number of organisations from both the statutory and voluntary sectors. The aim of the group is to advise and inform the Police Service in its work to ensure stop and search powers are used in a legally compliant and appropriate manner.

“A survey has been designed, drawing on advice received from statutory and voluntary organisations, to find out how children and young people feel about stop and search and to give them an opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions – both good and bad.

“It is hoped that the survey will give us insight into how young people are affected by stop and search and what we can do to improve our engagement with them.

“All young people, aged between 11 and 18 years old, are encouraged to take part in the survey which can be accessed at

“The survey will run from 30th April, 2021 to 11th June, 2021.

“The stop and search working group will analyse data from the survey and from focus groups to make recommendations on how police can improve the quality of their engagement with children and young people and develop policies and practice to ensure better outcomes for young people.”

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