Constitution of Bristol Copwatch
Bristol Copwatch is an independent, grassroots community project and police monitoring organisation. We aim to bring an end to the abuse of police power as well as disproportionate and racist policing.
Campaign to raise awareness and push for changes in discriminatory and racist policing practices.
Counter abuse of police powers in targeted communities and hold the police to account through street-based monitoring including filming and recording police conduct.
Empower communities to stand against police abuse of power through know your rights workshops and Copwatch training.
Provide arrestee support and assist with getting legal representation and complaints against the police.
Reimagine public safety beyond policing.
Membership and committee
Community membership is open to everyone and admission to the Copwatch community Allies group chat is possible via the website.
The core Copwatch team function as the organisation’s committee. The core team is non-hierarchical and is responsible for establishing and putting into action the decisions of the community. Two members of the core team are the treasurers and are responsible for authorising financial transactions and handling the Open Collective account.
Finances and funding
Bristol Copwatch is a nonprofit organisation funded through donations via an Open Collective bank account.
The two treasurers are the two signatories to the account.
Each transaction will require both of their signatures.
Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by Open Collective and a financial statement detailing all incoming and outgoing transactions is visible on Bristol Copwatch Open Collective page.
An annual statement of accounts and details of expenses will be presented at the Annual General Meeting held in April.
All funds raised will be spent solely on community support work, Bristol Copwatch projects and events as well as the development of the organisational infrastructure whilst keeping the organisation sustainable.
Community meetings will be held quarterly in a community space. Ideally in an accessible venue with no stair access and an accessible toilet.
Meetings will also be accessible online.
Meetings will not run for more than an hour without a break.
Committee meetings will be held weekly online.
All group decisions will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find a consensus that everyone present can agree to.
Meetings will aim to be one hour long and will not run for more than an hour without a break.
Website and social media
Updates of Bristol Copwatch projects, events, and community issues will be posted on the website and on the public Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram accounts.
Social media accounts and the website will be managed by allocated core team members with input from the rest of the committee.
Images posted on the website and social media will include image descriptions and video content will have subtitles.
The Copwatch Community Allies WhatsApp Group will provide updates on Bristol Copwatch events, projects, and meetings as well as local and national news on policing.
Privacy and data protection
Bristol Copwatch is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office due to our work in the community as caseworkers and advocates assisting with complaints against the police.
The committee function as the data controller.
Personal data is stored with the explicit consent of Bristol Copwatch clients which is provided in writing via email or if required as a letter of authority. Our clients reserve the right to withdraw consent at any time.
Personal data or casework data is stored on secure Riseup AGPL software and Riseup secure mail service relating to police complaints and ongoing issues with the police.
Personal data recorded as video is never shared on social media channels without explicit consent being given and if requested is stored on the secure Bristol Copwatch Dropbox service.
Personal data is stored for no more than 6 months. As a best practice, all records are deleted from secure systems when casework is completed.
Bristol Copwatch will never retain your personal data including inquiries made through our website for marketing purposes or share with any third parties.
We stand against all forms of oppression and discrimination including those based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sex, class, sexuality, disability, learning ability, mental illness, HIV status, age, occupation, income, and criminal conviction.
Bristol Copwatch recognises abuses of police power disproportionately impact people at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression. An intersectional framework is central to our advocacy and organising.
We aim to make our meetings events and online content as accessible as possible.
We aim to be an accountable organisation and welcome feedback.