APCC Transparency and Integrity Lead, Julia Mulligan PCC, said:
“Police and Crime Commissioners welcome this report from HMICFRS, which has found notable improvements since last year and that forces have a clear understanding of the value of treating the public with fairness and respect.
“Clearly some forces are progressing well, albeit some quicker than others, so it is important best practice is shared so policing can improve across England and Wales.
“The report clearly states Chief Constables are doing a good job in setting a positive example, acting ethically and treating the workforce with respect and fairness. There are however more steps needed in monitoring and improving individual officer, PCSO and staff performance, which still appears to be inconsistent.
“Given only six forces ‘require improvement’ in this area of policing, the public can take heart that the close oversight of PCCs on this matter, and being a voice for the communities they represent, is clearly working. There is more to do, specifically on stop and search, and PCCs will continue to press Chief Constables on this matter and seek improvement”
APCC Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights Lead, David Munro PCC, said:
“I cautiously welcome the publication of the PEEL Legitimacy Overview in relation to stop and search as it mostly recognises the significant improvements in its use, much better recording standards, and the far better understanding by forces of the dangers of its over-use. And we would surely all agree that forces must improve even further, and so the detailed recommendations made by the inspectors are very useful. In particular, I agree that the disproportionate number of stops on BAME groups is still concerning and needs further action.
“Stop and search is a valuable tool, particularly in combatting knife crime, and helping to keep our streets safe. Provided that the power is used properly, stop and search should remain part of the policing armoury, and forces and individual officers themselves must not be overly inhibited from using it in their fight against crime. From a position where stop and search was used far too often and indiscriminately, we want to ensure that officers are empowered to use it in an effective way to take crime off our streets.”