The approach of Y-Stop and why it’s needed

The aim of Y-Stop is to give you the tools to interact with the police safely, equipping you with all the skills and knowledge you need to handle a stop and search.

Instead of giving you too much information about the law and the police, it focuses on really practical information and tips to help you manage what is often a confusing and stressful encounter, ending it as quickly, confidently and smoothly as possible. We call this a harm reduction approach.

Y-Stop is a collaboration between charities, lawyers, young people, youth workers, community and media organisations and is run by Release in partnership with StopWatch. It started in 2013 when we began visiting youth clubs, colleges and schools across London to better understand young people's experiences with the police and find out what we could to do improve them. 

We found out stop and search is a disempowering, frightening and frustrating experience for young people across the UK. It has a serious impact on communities too, creating a complete lack of trust and confidence in the police, as a result of the suspicion, neglect and prejudice we often face. 

Y-Stop is our solution. Through training and tools it increases your confidence and skills to deal with stop and search, and reduces the risk of conflict and harm caused by contact with the police. It also improves your relationship with the police and increases awareness amongst communities about stop and search. Most importantly it makes you more aware of how to deal with these difficult situations in a positive manner. 

The young people we have worked with have led the whole project, made every decision and designed all of our material as we wanted to create something you could really use. If you have an idea to make Y-Stop better, let us know!


  • StopWatch
  • Release
  • Youth Futures
  • YIAG Waltham Forest
  • BASE Octavia
  • Hackney Quest
  • SE1 United