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  #1  
Old 02-07-2019, 12:18 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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Default Harassment from local police...

Iíve been out for two months after serving 11 months in a young offenders prison and Iím now on probation. Basically, the island I live on is almost ďcrime freeĒ and consequently the police get bored. Since my release I have been stopped and searched four times by the police. I was locked up for possession of an offensive weapon so I can kind of see their point.

However it is quite upsetting for me each time it happens because it is always in public and I know that people who see me shoved up against a wall or a police car will be thinking that Iíve offended again. Also, each time it happens they always seem to like cuffing my hands behind my back, which brings back horrible memories. When it happened today I politely asked them not to cuff me but they said it was for MY safety as well as theirís.

My question is, should I try to make some kind of complaint or will this just make things worse? Should I just suck it up and hope they get bored of it soon?

I try my best to be calm and polite each time as I donít want to violate my probation by getting arrested for resisting a search. Are they deliberately trying to get me to mess up and end up back inside?
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:45 PM
Bikerguy Bikerguy is offline
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Hello,

I notice that you are from the UK. Their laws about police stops I assume are different than those here in the US.

You have a few options here.
#1 what were the times and places where you were stopped? Was it late at night? A local hang-out? Ask yourself these questions first. What made the police NOTICE you first.

#2 is 4 times in 2 months really that many times? See question #1. Are you in the same spots hanging out and stuff or is it random times?

#3 Are you required to report any and all police interactions? In the US you usually are, if you are on probation. What does you PO say? That should be someone you talk to about this.

#4 Are they acting unprofessional when they do stop you?

#5 What do you hope to accomplish? If you did make a complaint? For them to stop I assume?

You have only been out for a short time, I would start a personal log of each and every time they stopped me. At least you can say they stopped me 6 times in a 2 month period, on these dates.....etc.

I'll tell you unless there is some sort of misconduct on their parts, I don't see 4 times in 2 months as something that would cause them any alarm to conduct some sort of investigation on their actions. Supervisors will just chalk it up to you being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:37 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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The first two times I was with my mates at the seafront where we usually hang out, but they only searched me. The other two times I was just out and about on my own.

The officers all know me anyway from when I committed my offence as it’s a very small police force. So I’m guessing they’re maybe thinking I might be in possession of an offensive weapon again.

I think making a complaint might not be my best course of action as I don’t want it to get worse.

In terms of whether they are being unprofessional, I would say no, apart from just being generally rough, but that’s police for you.

I have reported each stop to my PO and he just said it was an “occupational hazard”.

Maybe it is just to be expected due to the quiet-ish nature of where I live and the crime I committed.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:55 PM
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I agree with your PO. As long as you live there, you will be one of the "usual suspects", and well known to the police.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:18 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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I kind of agree with my PO too, really. I think I’m just going to have to accept it as part of my life for now and hope they get bored. I just need to try and stay calm and not get riled up like I usually do. I’ve never been very good with “authority” figures, unfortunately. I can’t seem to help acting out in some way. It’s like I have to push things right to the limit and I’m not sure why. It caused me a lot of trouble when I was locked up and I wish I would’ve behaved a bit more like a grown up instead of constantly seeing how far I could push the officers.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:25 AM
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Try to stay mellow whenever you encounter the police so you don't give them an excuse to mess with you even more. Remember to smile afterwards as you drive away, because you won.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:14 AM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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I got bloody stopped again this morning walking to the store, although not searched thankfully. It was kind of my fault though because I was smoking a roll-up and they said it looked like a joint (I probably should’ve realised that was asking for trouble). As if I’d be smoking a joint in public and in broad daylight whilst on probation. I suppose it was funny more than anything else.
It doesn’t help that I live right in the centre of town and there are always police officers hanging around somewhere. I kept my cool anyway.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:43 PM
Bikerguy Bikerguy is offline
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Sometimes we do need to try and put ourselves in the shoes of the PO. While yes, you might be on a small island and the cops might be "bored" and feel they need to "check" on one of the local young men who have been in trouble. You yourself mentioned that they saw you smoking a rolled cigarette. You just gave them a reason to stop you. Try not to give them any reason.

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I got bloody stopped again this morning walking to the store, although not searched thankfully. It was kind of my fault though because I was smoking a roll-up and they said it looked like a joint (I probably shouldíve realised that was asking for trouble). As if Iíd be smoking a joint in public and in broad daylight whilst on probation. I suppose it was funny more than anything else.
It doesnít help that I live right in the centre of town and there are always police officers hanging around somewhere. I kept my cool anyway.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:49 PM
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Another thing to remember is on an island with very little crime rate there's more time for the police to check up on you. Be aware also the po may be on here and read what you write. Urine tests can be done I would assume by po at their discretion.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:04 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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Thanks, good advice. I get drug tested regularly as part of my probation anyway because they found a few different drugs in my system when I was detained for my offence. So I’m really careful to avoid any type of temptation now.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:12 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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Yeah, I kicked myself afterwards as I could see their point. Also I suppose they could’ve stuck me on for it if they’d wanted to as it’s legally considered antisocial behaviour in the States of Jersey for an under 18 to be smoking in public.

I can also see why they might want to let a lad, who they see as a local trouble maker, know that they’ve got their eyes on him. I’m trying to be a grown up and own my mistake, it just doesn’t come very easily to me. I always try to make sure I’m civil and respectful with the police. I hate being held onto but I just try to relax so they don’t think I’m struggling or resisting. if I feel myself getting worked up then I either dig my nails into my palms or bite my tongue hard. Or if I’m in handcuffs then I try to see how hard I can pull them apart. It seems to help stop me feeling like I’m about to head butt somebody.

I don’t know whether this happens to anybody else, but if it’s a female police officer then I don’t seem to get as riled up. Not sure why.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:25 PM
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Is it the same cops stopping you? I guess that really doesn't matter.....
Have you thought about just being real with the cops and say hey i want you to see I'm just a kid who made a mistake and I'm not looking to go down that path again. Maybe ask if there is volunteer work you can do through the police dept. (By no means volunteer snitching of course)
Be sincere about anything you get involved with because eyes are on you.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:46 PM
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It’s a really small police force, so mostly it’s the same officers. I think they’ve probably made their mind up about me anyway. I did get into trouble a few times in my early teens, a couple of times for fighting and once for trying to knock off a policeman’s helmet as part of a dare, which is a fairly common childhood rite of passage in the UK. I know that last one sounds amusing, but he really wasn’t pleased and took me home to my parents who were horrified and grounded me for a month. I managed to keep my nose clean between then and now.
I get what you say about volunteering to maybe try and build some bridges, but I think I might lose a few of my friends if I did that.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:59 AM
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Woah! If you may lose some friends by volunteering that right there is a big ? To me. My friends would support and want me to do well and all I could not to be getting into any trouble again .
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:11 AM
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Well, the police aren’t very popular people with some of the friends I hang out with due to a couple of previous incidents and I think I was thinking that volunteering with them would seem a bit strange. But reading back what I wrote and thinking about it I can see what you mean. I think I’ve been so desperate to get back to my previous life that I’ve gone back to friends that maybe aren’t very good for me.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:45 AM
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You are going to have to just suck it up and take it.
Slow your roll. Keep calm.
If they stop you, just comply with whatever they say. They have that *right* now.
As crappy as it feels you just gotta give in.
They will always *win*


Keep reporting any contact with your parole/probation officer.
Keep abiding by what ever rules you have to to stay out of trouble.


You could always sing quietly to your self. Or hum.
At some point they will get tired of stopping you, especially if you dont *play* and just be calm, and go with the flow.


Agree with you on your chums.
Might be time to meet some new friends if those other ones are getting into trouble.
And as to your previous life.....that wont ever be the same thing. At least it shouldnt. Thats how you got into trouble in the first place.


fill your time with something constructive. Something that will better your life.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:40 AM
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I can’t believe I was so stupid to have been smoking in public yesterday, I keep thinking about what would’ve happened if they’d decided to write me up for antisocial behaviour. I know smoking isnt really antisocial, but it upsets the tourists when groups of under 18s are hanging around smoking and drinking on the street or seafront.
Part of my probation terms include not breaking any local youth antisocial behaviour regulations as well as UK law, so I could’ve messed things up. I don’t think it would’ve earned me another stay at Her Majesy’s pleasure, but I don’t think it would’ve been good either.

I don’t know how I can stop doing stupid things, it’s like my brain just doesn’t have the ability to recognise when I’m doing something that could get me into trouble. Or rather I do recognise it but it’s like at the time I just don’t care and only afterwards do I think “f*ck, that was stupid”. It’s gotten me into so much trouble so far that I’m worried I’m going to do something really serious one day. Do you guys think that some people are just destined to continue making silly mistakes? My PO has given me some homework to do on ‘behavioural self regulation’, but I think I need some genuine help. I can’t really discuss this with him though because I’m worried he will increase my risk status and make my terms even worse.

I’ve decided I’m definitely going to cool it with my current group of friends, although it might make me even more lonely, I can see that they’re just not good for me. I think the final straw was last night when they tried to get me to break my curfew by staying out with them. They just don’t seem to understand.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:35 PM
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Hey Danny,

You remind me a lot of myself when I was your age, I did some time for a violent crime when I was 18, I’m 38 now. You’re right it’s a terrible experience to be sent to prison at such a young age and I understand why you’re so angry. I came out even more messed up than when I went in.

You need to find some way of dealing with all that anger, otherwise it will find a way to destroy you. I knew a couple of lads who ended up back inside because they couldn’t control themselves. From reading your intro post it sounds like you had a very difficult time in prison and it sounds like you may have had an experience that absolutely nobody wants to have, so I get where that anger is coming from. But please find some way of dealing with it that doesn’t involve fighting, or worse (potentially) assaulting a police officer.

I get why you might be frustrated by the way the police are treating you, but as Bikerguy has said maybe try to see it from their point of view as well. I’m not saying they’re in the right, but learning to see things from the point of view of others is an important part of moving from offender to ex-offender. If I could play devil’s advocate - the police see their duty as keeping the community safe and they might feel they’re doing this by keeping an eye on a local troublemaker (your words). As for them handcuffing you when they search you, then again if we look at it from their point of view then they know you have a history of possessing an offensive weapon and they have no way of knowing what you have in your pocket or in your waistband or your sock. I think if I was them then I’d probably want to ensure you were secure before searching you, rather than find out the hard that you were carrying something you shouldn’t. Again, I’m not siding with them, just trying to get you to see things from another point of view.

I think you’re right to maybe put some distance between you and your friends. They shouldn’t be encouraging you to break your probation. Talking of probation, if you know that smoking tobacco is against antisocial behaviour regulations where you live, then definitely don’t do it. I think you were very lucky that the police officers didn’t at least give you a formal warning about it, which I’m guessing you would then have had to report to your probation officer. It’s not worth doing silly things like that.

In terms of your ‘behavioural self regulation’, I think doing the homework your PO has given you would be a start, but maybe you should think about asking him for some further help? Better that than being locked up again because you were unable to keep your temper in check.

Anyway, I hope you don’t mind me being fairly blunt with you, but as I said you remind me a lot of myself at your age and I really don’t want you to end up back behind bars.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:48 PM
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Well said Jake!
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:07 PM
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Hi Jake,

Thanks for your advice, I don’t mind you being blunt at all.

I hadn’t really thought of the police issue like that before, especially the reason why they keep cuffing my hands behind my back. I think I was thinking they were just being unnecessarily mean, but you’re right, having already found a weapon in my sock once before then I don’t really blame them for wondering whether they’re going to find something again. I suppose they probably also think that it’s entirely possible that somebody will use a weapon against them if they have one. So I understand them wanting to make sure I can’t really use my hands before they go poking around.

Regarding my self-control issues then I think I probably am going to ask my P.O. for some serious help, assuming there is help.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:33 PM
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Hi again Danny,

I was a bit worried you might take my post the wrong way, so I’m glad you’ve able to see things from a bit of a new perspective, you should be proud of that.
At least next time the police stop you then you can hopefully not get as worked up if you put yourself in their shoes and try to think what you would do if you were a police officer stopping a young lad with your history. One thing I did want to mention is that you said you try to take your mind off things by clenching your fists and seeing how far you can pull your handcuffs apart. While this might redirect some of the tension you feel, it might not be a good strategy because the officers might see it as a sign that you’re about to try and lash out. I know that clenched fists are things that police are usually on the lookout for as an indication that a detainee is about to turn nasty. If you’re already feeling a bit volatile then it’s probably best not to do anything that might lead to any escalation of your situation.
You also said that you don’t like the police holding on to you either, but again this is kind of unavoidable. I know it’s not nice feeling somebody else’s hands on you when you’re already feeling vulnerable, but it’s best just to let them hold onto you if they want to because if you try and struggle then they’ll only hold on tighter and you’re liable to find yourself face down in the dirt in no time.
I realise I’m telling you to do the exact opposite to what you probably feel like doing at the time, but I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt myself many times and as I’m sure you’re aware from your own arrest, it never ends well for the person being detained.

I think you’re right to ask your PO for help in managing your anger. I think he’ll be more likely to see it as a grown up, mature thing to do, rather than to punish you for asking for help by raising your risk level. You said you got into a lot of fights in prison and he will definitely have revived a detailed report of everything you did to get in trouble while you were behind bars, so I’m guessing he’ll have a good idea already about your short fuse. It’s my experience that probation officers know a LOT more than you think they do, so just be honest (obviously don’t say anything that could possibly incriminate you regarding something else).

I found that physical exercise really helped me to gain some self control when I was an angry young man. You could try weight lifting or some people try boxing. I was a wrestler in secondary school and when I later went to university. I can recommend it over boxing because not only does it allow you to release some tension, it also teaches you self-control (and it might actually be better for you specifically instead of boxing because (no offence) it sounds like you might end up seeing the red mist if you’re confronted by somebody trying to punch your lights out!). Really any excercise that raises your heart rate and gets you sweaty is good enough.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:43 PM
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Danny,

I have worked with teenagers for my entire career. Please remember your brain is still growing and forming. Frontal lobe controls agression, empathy and risk taking behavior. You're still going through puberty, so as the testosterone increases, so does the aggression.

You have been through a lot, but at the end of the day you are a child who has their whole life ahead of them. You may benefit from therapy and ways to control your mind and aggression. Meditation and being engage in mindfulness behavior is a great way to help retrain the way you think. They are available on YouTube and easy as google search.

Start to prioritize and make goals. I recently found many kids dont evwn know where to start in making meaningful, attainable goals. Shoot to high you can fail, aim too low and nothing changes. Your schooling will be a way to refocus. Think about your life in a year from now. What do you want it to look like? Your relationship with your parents? What type of friend would you like to have in your life? Etc. Then branch out more long term. 5 years for now would be the furthest I would go. Job? Career? Family? Your own apartment?

You're cpabale of doing anything in this life. You may more control than you believe. When you realize this, the anger will dissipate. You have already begun the self reflective path. Huge sign of maturity. Kiddos to you.

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Old 02-09-2019, 09:35 PM
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Hi Jake, thanks for the reply. I enjoyed rugby at school, but obviously had to give it up when I got sent away. I did play football in prison for a while but I had to stop when I got put in isolation the first time and they just never let me start again. I go running as much as I can now as it helps me relax a bit. I did think of trying boxing, but I thought the same thing you did, I don’t think I’d be very good in a situation where I’m supposed to be punching somebody in the face.

Hi onedayatatime, my GP has referred me for counseling , which I’m hoping might help me. Part of me feels like I’m just destined to end up back behind bars though, some people just are. Regarding school, I missed almost all of year 11, so I didn’t get to do my GCSEs (exams you take at age 16, which allow you to go onto year 12/13). I did attend some classes in prison, but I got removed from education because I was too disruptive, so I never got to take my exams with the other boys my age. I should’ve just behaved like a normal person, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. So consequently I’m not in school at the moment, although I’m hoping to restart year 11 in September. Hopefully I’ll be able to control myself and not do anything silly.
I can’t think of any goals at the moment, in fact it’s difficult to see past next week. I suppose the only thing I really want is to see my mum and dad, but that’s up to them.
Do you think it’s really possible to change? I feel as though I’ve been like this for so long that I don’t know how to be anything else.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
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Hi Jake, thanks for the reply. I enjoyed rugby at school, but obviously had to give it up when I got sent away. I did play football in prison for a while but I had to stop when I got put in isolation the first time and they just never let me start again. I go running as much as I can now as it helps me relax a bit. I did think of trying boxing, but I thought the same thing you did, I donít think Iíd be very good in a situation where Iím supposed to be punching somebody in the face.

Hi onedayatatime, my GP has referred me for counseling , which Iím hoping might help me. Part of me feels like Iím just destined to end up back behind bars though, some people just are. Regarding school, I missed almost all of year 11, so I didnít get to do my GCSEs (exams you take at age 16, which allow you to go onto year 12/13). I did attend some classes in prison, but I got removed from education because I was too disruptive, so I never got to take my exams with the other boys my age. I shouldíve just behaved like a normal person, but I couldnít seem to help myself. So consequently Iím not in school at the moment, although Iím hoping to restart year 11 in September. Hopefully Iíll be able to control myself and not do anything silly.
I canít think of any goals at the moment, in fact itís difficult to see past next week. I suppose the only thing I really want is to see my mum and dad, but thatís up to them.
Do you think itís really possible to change? I feel as though Iíve been like this for so long that I donít know how to be anything else.
I truly believe anyone can change, but it is up to them to want it. You do need a support system and guidance. It is not the easiest to do on your own.

I think you would benefit from therapy to be honest. There is moving shameful in it at all. You are hard on yourself, so the is a lot to unpack. You describe impulse control and rebelling against authority. Most of which is natural at your age, but I'm sure there is much much more going on.

I have seen kids change. I had one kid who threaten to burn my house down who now a speech therapist working with children who deal with trauma. Her support came outside her family and through her determination.

You're not alone in this. As I said you have only known one way of being, and you have your whole life to discover there is even more to yourself than you give yourself credit for. Look at life as a journey. There is no comparing anyone's. Some do things the harder way, but the pay off in the end can be greater. It is a matter of perspective.

I like to believe that all we go through today is preparing us for our future selves. The lessons, the tools, etc are needed later for success.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:11 PM
Danny3001 Danny3001 is offline
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I d love to do a job where I help people, like my brother, who is training to be a paediatrician. However I don’t think you can with a criminal record. That was the first thing my dad said when he and my mum came to see me while I was being held in the police station, that I’d never be able to follow in his or my brother’s footsteps.

I think I might ask my GP to refer me for formal therapy as I think I’ve only been referred for short term counseling, which I know is different. However I don’t really want to talk about some things, especially if it’s a man. I don’t want to be put on medication either, they tried to put me on something while I was in prison as they’d had enough, but it just turned me into a drooling wreck.

I can be fully normal when I want to be, maybe I can learn to be normal all the time. I definitely want to try and get better before I go back to school.
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