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Best Use of Police Stop & Search Scheme, Update

Author: Marius West Published: 26th August 2014 16:27

 Suffolk Police

Best Use of Stop & Search Scheme

Suffolk Police has today (Tuesday) signed up to the Government’s Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme which aims to deliver enhanced intelligence-led stops as well as improve the relationship between the police and the public.
 
The voluntary scheme, which was announced by the Home Secretary in April, is designed to contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of stop and search, deliver better and more intelligence-led stop and search, and improve stop-to-arrest ratios. It will also provide the public with further information on the outcome of searches.
 
Over the coming weeks, Suffolk Police will be working to implement the scheme to increase transparency by recording all outcomes of stop and search and whether there is a connection between the grounds for the search and the outcome; restrict the use of Section 60 powers with a chief officers making the decision to authorise such powers only when they anticipate serious violence will rather than may take place.
 
Assistant Chief Constable David Skevington said: "As part of the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s policing plan, the force works hard to prevent crime and bring offenders that cause harm to the county’s communities to justice. When used effectively Stop and Search can help to achieve this. We do understand that over-using Stop and Search can be counterproductive in terms of damaging relationships with people we are here to serve.
 
"Over recent years we have worked hard to ensure that Stop and Search is carried out when there are clear grounds, that people understand why they are searched and they are treated with dignity and respect. We continue to work with community scrutiny groups.

"Suffolk Police willingly signed up to this scheme. It builds the work underway in the county aimed at ensuring that the public can have confidence that Suffolk Police use Stop and Search effectively and fairly.”
 
The scheme will also give people the opportunity to observe stop and search in practice and introduce a community complaints trigger.
 
On Tuesday 26 August, the Home Secretary announced that police forces in England and Wales have signed up to the scheme and 24 will implement the additional data recording and section 60 "no-suspicion” measures from today. Forces signed up will have implemented all aspects of the scheme in November.
 
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "Nobody wins when stop and search is misused, it can be an enormous waste of police time and damage the relationship between the public and police. That is why I am delighted Suffolk Police has committed to reforming their use of stop and search by volunteering for the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It will increase transparency, give us a better understanding of how stop and search is actually being used and help local communities hold the police to account for their use of the powers.”
 
From today, stop and search data will also be available on data.police.uk. The additional information which forces will capture as a result of the Scheme will be published on this website in due course.
 
The Home Office has also launched a consultation on revising the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) Code A. The consultation on the Code, which governs the police’s use of stop and search, will last eight weeks.

Further to the Home Secretary’s announcement on Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and the Constabulary’s release:

Tim Passmore said, “I welcome the Government’s Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme and am pleased that Suffolk has signed up to it.

“The use of Stop and Search is important in tackling crime, but it’s crucial that it is used at the right times and in the right way otherwise it can have a damaging impact on public confidence. In Suffolk the use of Stop and Search is closely monitored and last year the HMIC highlighted Suffolk Constabulary for their good practice.

He added, “I pay a keen interest in the work of the Stop and Search Reference Group, which comprises a group of community representatives mainly from BME groups and I attend the meetings when I can. The reference group offers insight and advice to help the Constabulary improve the trust and confidence of BME communities regarding Stop and Search and I welcome their invaluable contribution.”

 

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Comments

David Davidson
At 12:56 on 26th August 2014, David Davidson commented:
The best use of stop and search is not using it at all.
The police and government are out of control.

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