Thurdsay morning as I was coming out of Stratford station, which is one of the busiest in East London, I noticed that there were quite a few policemen carrying out a stop-and-search.
Now I do try and not be forward (honest) but I guess I didn’t try hard enough because I suddenly saw my-self standing in front of a policewoman and asking her a few questions.
‘Erm, officer,’ I said in a small voice, ‘sorry to ask, but why are you stopping these people, has something bad happened?’
‘No,’ she said laughing, ‘we are carrying out a random stop-and-search.’
‘What for?’ I asked eyeing her colleagues stopping several men. One was telling a man to raise his arms as they searched his pockets.
‘Well, for terrorists mainly,’ she said.
‘What, terrorists here in our Stratford?’ I said, raising my bushy eyebrows.
‘Yep, right here she said,’ dangling her note pad leisurely.
‘Have you got a profile of a typical terrorist that you look out for?’ I asked.
‘No. One day we search women, one day men. Any race, any background, any age. In fact, we’ve even come across people wanted for other crimes,’ she said proudly, ‘and the media says we are not doing a good job!’
I thought of the elderly folk and noisy school kids walking past, and found it hard to image them being terrorists; but anyway, I remembered I was not the expert here.
‘But what I want to know is what would make you approach some-one?’ I interjected.
‘Well, we can pick those people who have been standing around for too long, which can be suspicious,’ she replied.
She also explained that there are plain clothes policeman planted in the busy shopping mall 1-miute away.
A lot of the time Asians and Muslims have complained that they are stereotyped as typical terrorists.
Emma, this police officer I spoke to, gave the impression this is not so with the police. Is that really the case?
So there you go folks: be careful of hanging around Stratford mall for too long in case you are mistaken for a terrorist wanting to bomb up the trains, pigeons and Burger King.
The ragged woman who begs
3 weeks ago