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Best use of stop and search scheme

Stop and search logo

We voluntarily signed up to the Home Office’s best use of stop and search scheme in August 2014.

We always aim to be transparent and open and the scheme encourages and supports a more intelligence-led approach. This has increased significantly the positive outcomes of stop and searches.

Participation in the scheme will help us to ensure there is a link between the original objective of the search, what is found and the final outcome.

The features of the scheme are:

Better data recording

We ensure the outcome of all stop and searches are clearly recorded. The force also shows the link, or lack of one, between the object of the search and the outcome, such as arrests, cautions or penalty notices for disorder.

Lay observation policies (ride along scheme)

We provide the opportunity for members of the local community to accompany police officers on patrol to witness various activities, a this may include witnessing a stop and search. This opportunity for lay persons is provided via the ride along scheme which offers people the opportunity to ride along with police officers on patrol in order to observe their work first-hand.

Community complaints trigger

We carefully scrutinise all complaints from the public in relation to the use of stop and search powers and explain to the community how and why powers are being used where there is cause for concern.

Community scrutiny panel

We have established a local scrutiny panel that holds the force to account on any stop and search issues.

Section 60 stop and searches

We ensure that section 60 powers are always used appropriately and only when deemed necessary by raising the authorisation to Chief Officer level. We also communicate to local communities when there is going to be a section 60 authorisation in advance (where practicable). This means the public are kept informed of the purpose and success of the operation.

Divergence from the scheme

We make public all incidences where they have departed from the requirements of the scheme and explain their reason for why this occurred.

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