Ken is a founding member of HISSMG and a former Chair of the Community Monitoring Network – the London-wide association of 33 stop and search groups from different London boroughs. Ken brings personal experience to the job. He himself has been stopped and searched over 100 times and won thousands of pounds in compensation from the British Transport police after they unfairly detained and charged him with ‘obstruction and threatening behaviour’ during a search in 2004.
Ken set up HISSMG in 2005 to help combat race discrimination and stereotyping of black people by the police. Since then, Ken has worked tirelessly to achieve ‘fairer engagement’ in stop and search encounters. Ken is closely involved in every aspect of HISSMG’s activities – from handing out ‘know your rights’ cards to young people on the streets, to giving talks in schools & colleges, to listening to complaints, to the training of new police officers in Haringey.
Ken is aware of the complex issues and challenges that exist on the streets in relation to gangs and violence. As a former conflict engagement specialist, Ken has been involved in high, medium and low risk gang mediation between local police and youth (particularly youths from ethnic minorities) and also worked as a consultant for the Met’s ‘Trident’ unit, set up to deal with serious violent crime in the Afro-Caribbean Community. Ken’s ‘mission’ is to help rid our community of knives and guns. He believes that police stop and search has a part to play in that, but that police powers needs to be used proportionately and fairly, as failure to adhere to codes of practice can make matters worse.
As well as being a member of Haringey’s Safer Neighbourhood Board, Ken has regular meetings with the Haringey Borough commander to pass on feedback from the community. He’s also the Haringey community’s rep on stop on stop and search at meetings with senior Met officers at Scotland Yard, the College of Policing, British Transport Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing. Ken ensures that our voices and concerns are heard! He’s the media ‘go to’ person in London for comments on stop and search and continually campaigns for improvements in the law and practice on stop and search nationally.
Ken currently works as a security consultant while running a soca (calypso) dance company and mentoring young people (just out of prison or on probation) in his ‘spare’ time.