Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) 'Disproportionate use of Police Powers report' in February 2021 provided a spotlight on stop and search (and use of force).
It claimed that, some 35 years on from the introduction of stop and search legislation, no force fully understands the impact of the use of these powers, causing suspicion among some communities that they remain unfairly targeted.
In March 2021 the Crime and Policing section of 'The Report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' looked into stop and search activity in an attempt to understand and interpret the practice. They provided recommendations within four key themes of Trust, Fairness, Agency (opportunities and empowerment) and Inclusivity.
The two reports come at a time when stop and search is in the public eye following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, and Black Lives Matter protests have increased awareness and tensions on a national and global scale. It is therefore important that Hertfordshire Constabulary, who focus on 'Prevention First', understand the use of stop and search.
Our research looked at data from surveys and focus groups involving Hertfordshire police officers, and provided recommendations that have been fed back into the force and independent OPCC (The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) Scrutiny Panel.