Faron Paul was stop and searched outside his hometown train station (Picture: Facebook/Faron Alex Paul)A knife crime vigilante has hit out at a police officer who stop and searched him after suspecting he was a county lines drug dealer.
Faron Paul, 33, runs his own knife amnesty, encouraging youngsters caught up in gang violence to give up their weapons in exchange for shopping vouchers.
He has appeared on BBC News and Good Morning Britain to talk about his mission, but was approached by two officers earlier this month as he stood outside a train station in his hometown of Hertford.
Faron claims the officer told him that ‘most county lines drug dealers are black’ but he didn’t say it on camera.
He says he believed he was being ‘racially profiled’ so filmed the officer, who began to ask him if he was ‘local’ and tell him about Hertford’s ‘problem’ with county lines drug dealers.
The footage starts with Faron asking the officer, ‘Why are you stopping me?’ and he responds, ‘It doesn’t hurt to check, does it?’
The officer suspected he could be a ‘county lines drug dealer’ (Picture: Facebook/Faron Alex Paul)The officer tells Faron: ‘We do have a problem with country lines drug dealers coming up and using this train station.
‘I’m just asking who you are, whether you’re local to here or not.
‘The thing is, your reluctance to give me any answers makes me think you’ve got something to hide.’
Faron replies: ‘I wouldn’t say that.’
The officer asks him, ‘Why would you say that,’ and Faron replies, ‘Because I know I’ve got nothing to hide’.
The officer then says: ‘But I don’t know that. I’ve tried to have a reasonable conversation with you, explain to you that in this town we are having a lot of problems with county lines drug dealers coming and going via this train station.
Faron Paul says he was ’racially profiled’ by the officer (Picture: Facebook/ Faron Alex Paul)He then adds: ‘You’re not answering any questions. I ask you if you’re local and you won’t answer that either.
‘Everything about the way you’re responding to me makes me think that you’ve got something to hide.’
At this point, Faron said he began searching him and ‘touched’ his testicles ‘believing he’d find something there’, but this was not seen in the footage.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I’ve never had another man touch my testicles. I felt so violated I went down to the police station and made a complaint.’
Faron said it was a ‘demoralising’ experience, adding: ‘He was like, “There’s no harm in checking”.
Faron runs a knife amnesty, encouraging youngsters to give up their weapons (Picture: Facebook/ Faron Alex Paul)‘But that’s not even the law. There is actually a harm in checking someone that has done nothing wrong with no allegations.’
He said: ‘I think it’s hostile on the streets. When you’ve got people like Mark Duggan and Jermaine Baker being shot dead, it’s a bit scary.
‘I’m getting pulled at two o’clock in the afternoon in front of people at a train station. What’s going to happen when I get pulled at 11.30 at night down an alleyway?’
A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesperson said: ‘Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department has received a formal complaint in relation to the stop and search of a man in Hertford on May 3. The matter will be thoroughly and fully investigated.
‘Due to the pending investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.’