Greater_Manchester_Police_in_Piccadilly_Gardens_(Manchester,_England)

PHOTO: Greater Manchester Police in Piccadilly Gardens (Wikimedia Commons)

This weekend our third pilot project trains a new team of independent ‘Community Monitors’ to observe and record the actions of police officers, this time in Greater Manchester.

After successfully setting up Community Monitor pilot projects in Birmingham and west London, Netpol is now working in partnership with Northern Police Monitoring Project to set up a group in Manchester.

Are you based in the Greater Manchester area and interested in supporting others to resist and challenge infringements on their rights?

What is Community Monitoring?

Community Monitoring is a model of community organising that seeks to deter police harassment or misconduct by monitoring the police and providing independent rights information and support to communities. Community Monitors work on the ground, in teams, acting as independent observers monitoring human rights and assisting individuals or groups to access redress.

The idea has been successfully piloted in the past year in London and Birmingham, in areas where reports of disproportionate or discriminatory police treatment are common – particularly against young people, people from black, Asian, minority ethnic, refugee or working class backgrounds.

This latest project will now be piloting in Manchester with the support of Northern Police Monitoring Project.

The provision of legal observers on the streets is a long-established tradition dating back to the 1930s, acting as the eyes and ears of those on the ground and providing unique support to communities including during public events and protests.

Community Monitors can play a pivotal role in supporting their communities by:

  • Being present on the ground to listen to, observe and respond to community concerns
  • Ensuring people are aware of and can utilise their rights by distributing rights information
  • Monitoring, recording and reporting back any treatment by the police or security officers that appears unlawful, discriminatory or improper
  • Signposting people to access independent advice, support and legal referral for arrest and detention

How to volunteer to become a Community Monitor?

If you are interested in taking part, you need to attend the free training session on:

Saturday 29th November 2014
10.30am – 4pm

at Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN),
Zion Arts Centre,
335 Stretford Road,
Manchester M15 5ZA

What will the training cover?

  • Understanding the role of Community Monitors
  • Overview of human rights issues and the law in relation to this: Stop & Search powers, dispersal zones, curfew powers, arrest and detention
  • Details of how the Community Monitor Team will be coordinated and supported

The training is open to anyone over the age of 18. You do not need a background in law as you will not be providing legal advice. Lunch will be provided.

To register, email – whopolicesthepolice@gmail.com

Northern Police Monitoring Project is working in partnership with Netpol in launching this project, for which Netpol is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.