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Matt spends a day with the police

Published on 12/09/14

A TEENAGER from Orchard School has changed his views on the police, after accompanying officers on a shift.


A TEENAGER from Orchard School has changed his views on the police, after accompanying officers on a shift.
Matt Speight, from Kingswood, was making a film about his life when Sergeant Chris Green from Trinity Road police station approached him for a chat. 
Sgt Green said: “I spotted Matt outside Trinity Road and was interested to find out what he was filming. We got chatting and it turned out that Matt had had some negative experiences with the police, which had given him a poor view of what we do and what we’re about. 
“I wanted Matt to see for himself that there is so much more to policing than what he had experienced, so I invited him out to join me on a shift."
Matt said: “Before I went out with Sgt Green, I had a pretty low opinion of the police. I’d been stopped and searched a couple of times whilst hanging out with my friends in St Pauls and Easton and had felt unfairly targeted because I’m mixed race.  Even though Sergeant Green explained to me I’d been stopped because the police had intelligence to suggest that people fitting mine and my friend’s profiles were dealing drugs in the area, it didn’t help me to feel valued or respected. 
“On the shift, I got to see the variety of incidents that they have to respond to, from a warrant carried out on a suspected burglar, where they had to kick the door in, to a domestic incident involving a teenager my age. He’d been hit by his mum and had to go and stay at his auntie’s house because he didn’t feel safe at home. It really resonated with me because I could relate to what the victim was feeling and I got to see how the police can and do deal sensitively with people my age. 
“I really want to join the Police Cadets now and would consider a career in the police when I’m older. I’ve seen that not all officers are bad and I like the fact that there are neighbourhood teams separate to the response teams, whose job it is to get to know their communities and in particular the young people in these communities. Building these links is something I’d like to be involved with.”
 Sgt Green with Matt