Bristol Copwatch is a community-focused police monitoring group.
We are a fiercely independent grassroots community project and police monitoring organisation. We began in March 2020. Our key objectives are street based monitoring of problem officers and units in targeted communities across Bristol and Avon and Somerset. We actively campaign to raise awareness and push for changes in discriminatory and racist policing practices.
We offer ongoing support assisting with complaints against the police and have contacts at some of the best criminal defence and actions against the police law firms in the UK. We have a good understanding of the law and our rights when dealing with the police on the streets and are always happy to pass on knowledge and experiences.
We like many others want to see an end to section 60 and disproportionate use of force against black people, a significant change in how the police respond to mental health crisis and believe that we should begin to reimagine public safety beyond policing.
We welcome all approaches to fighting back against police power but personally won’t work with the cops. We feel this will impact our vital work in the community and our ability to critically analyse the police. We also monitor the police on a national level and are aligned with police monitoring organisations across the UK such as StopWatch and other Copwatch groups.
We run events and workshops in Bristol and Avon and Somerset and nationally. We see this element of our organisation as building community resilience and sharing knowledge of our rights in the face of police contact.
In 2021 we began to branch into advocacy work with Leeds University´s Co-POWeR project. Our dear friend and fellow cop watcher Ahmed Fofanah sat on the community engagement panel as a Bristol Copwatch representative sharing his experiences.
We are an expanding core team of volunteers who challenge disproportionate and racist policing head on. We welcome anyone who wants to take an active volunteer role in our project or wants to simply be a Copwatch ally, just send us a message to say hi or send an email.