A former gang member has spoken about his experiences of stop and search.
Many sections of the mainstream media – and some politicians – constantly seek to undermine stop and search without having any fundamental or accurate understanding of how stop and search can, in real terms, save peoples lives.
But a former gang member, who was recently released from prison, has taken the bold step of talking openly about his previous life and how he now understands the critical role that stop and search has to play in reducing knife crime.
Under the Twitter handle @smcgrath90, ‘Sicarius McGrath’ said:
‘I was a career criminal for over two decades. My crimes ranged from ASB and minor thefts from the age of 15, to firearms and gangs from the age of 21. I was constantly at Loggerheads with Merseyside Police & would be subject to daily stop & search.
‘Since 2017 I gradually implemented change. That change has developed & been reinforced, especially since my release from custody in July 2020 In retrospect, I believe Merseyside Police are a good police force & my negative experience with them was a result of my criminal mindset.
‘My involvement in crime led to my anti-authority views & destructive thinking patterns, something which I now acknowledge & take responsibility [for]. Merseyside Police had a duty to protect the public & that is what they were doing when they would disrupt me on a daily basis.
‘One may assume it to be harassment being stopped & searched 3, 4 or 5 times a day. But the reality is that I presented a monumental risk to the public. I now accept that the large volume of stop & search was proportionate & justified, given the risk which I posed to the society.
‘Since being released from prison, I have further developed my pro social thinking. This has included viewing the police objectively and without the biased perception which I previously held. I am often criticised by others for defending the actions of police.
‘I’ve had numerous messages, primarily from females who suggest I am a grass & that I love the police. This is untrue and is a distorted view which has been exaggerated. A grass is a criminal who relays information to the police. I’m no longer a criminal so don’t fit that criteria.
‘I am now a normal member of society. I’m no longer criminally affiliated, nor do I have any desire to engage with those who are. But just to be clear, I will report incidents to the police & will attend court if necessary. I have no shame in openly admitting that to anyone.
‘That is what normal people do, they call the police and, as I am no longer a criminal, I conform with these normal societal behaviours & expectations. So I hope this has cleared things up for those who make unfounded assumptions about me.
‘To all the ex offenders who portray themselves as legitimate & law abiding; You are in no position to use the word Grass. Grass is terminology used by criminals to brand other criminals who betray the trust of their criminal peers. Grass is not a term used by normal society.
‘If you still harbour this anti authority mindset by branding other people as a grass, then I assure you that you have not yet changed or reformed, and you have a long way to go in order to rehabilitate. Your either on one side of the fence or the other, you cannot be on both.
‘You cannot go to work Monday to Friday, then be a gangster of a Saturday’ I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. Being confused is not a good quality to have, so maybe reevaluate your life and ask yourself what you want to be, a gangster or a normal member of society? You Decide!’
Click HERE to follow @smcgrath90 on Twitter.
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