How can Stop and Search be used most appropriately to combat serious and violent crime?
This was the question discussed at a joint workshop organised by Stop and Search Leads for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
The Safer Communities / Stop and Search workshop brought together policy makers and partners to examine how Stop and Search is used, in practice, to combat serious and violent crime; it also explored the extent to which police forces were able to maintain proportionality, transparency and retain the confidence of all communities.
David Munro, APCC Lead on EDHR (Equalities, Diversity, Human Rights) said:
“The Policing Vision 2025 set out Police and Crime Commissioners’ and Chief Constables’ plan for policing over the coming years, and how we will work together to deliver a police service that is able to meet the needs of complex and diverse communities, whilst responding to the challenges we face now and in the future.
“This workshop provided a great opportunity for us to put this shared vision into action, through bringing people together people across policing, police governance and the third sector to discuss Stop and Search. We heard a diversity of perspectives, from the vital role that scrutiny measures play in building community confidence in the use of police powers, to the challenges that police officers face operationally in deploying Stop and Search to prevent corrosive substances, laser pens and drones being used for criminal purposes.
“I strongly believe that a mutual respect for one another’s views emerged from the session, as well as an appreciation of the need for collaborative working: going forward, working together across communities will be key to ensuring that this essential police power is used in a proportionate and effective way.”
NPCC Lead for Stop and Search, Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said:
“Police leaders and operational officers are acutely aware of the role Stop and Search powers can play in helping to tackle crime and keep people safe by identifying the individuals who are in possession of weapons, stolen property and unlawful drugs.
“The police service has made committed and enduring efforts over the past few years to show how Stop and Search powers are being used in a way that is legitimate, fair and effective – as evidenced by the substantial reduction in its use and the increasing number of people arrested.
“The workshop and discussions, that we are now having with the public and stakeholders, are helping shape proactive policing to be even more responsive to emerging threats, such attacks with corrosive substances and the increasing use of knives, whilst at the same time demonstrating transparency and validity to help ensure that the public are supportive and have confidence in our approach”.