Stopped by the police?
The power to stop and search is a valuable
policing tool in the fight against crime. It’s equally important
that communities are reassured that we use
stop and search appropriately, honestly, openly and in a
Used correctly it prevents, detects, and
deters criminals whilst re-assuring the communities of Norfolk that
they have an effective Police Service that they can rely on to
protect them from harm.
It is important to know that there are
no targets for Stop Searches.
The ‘Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme was
announced by the Home Secretary in her statement to Parliament on
30 April 2014. The principal aims of the scheme are to achieve
greater transparency, community involvement in the use of stop and
search powers, and to support a more intelligence-led approach.
This should lead to better outcomes, for example, an increase in
the stop and search to positive outcome ratio.
The features of the scheme
- Data recording – forces will record the
broader range of stop and search outcomes e.g. arrests, cautions,
penalty notices for disorder and all other disposal types. Forces
will also show the link, or lack of one, between the object of the
search and its outcome.
- Lay observation policies – providing the
opportunity for members of the local community to accompany police
officers on patrol using stop and search.
- Stop and search complaints ‘community
trigger’ – a local complaint policy requiring the police to explain
to local community scrutiny groups how the powers are being used
where there is a large volume of complaints.
On average we receive seven complaints per year relating to stop
and search, each complaint will now be referred to the established
Independent Stop Search Scrutiny Panel. The panel is made up of lay
members of the community providing oversight of our stop search
practices on behalf of the public, and being a ‘critical friend’ to
help us improve our service.
- Reducing section 60 ‘no-suspicion’ stop and
searches by – raising the authorisation of blanket stop search
powers to senior officers (above the rank of Chief Superintendent);
ensuring that section 60 stop and search is only used where it is
deemed absolutely necessary. Authorisations are likely to relate to
planned operations and will be put in place with the public
notified in advance.
By adopting the scheme, forces will use stop
and search strategically, which we hope will improve public
confidence and trust.
If you feel that you have been treated
unfairly then you have the right to complain.
Chief Inspector Jason Broome is the strategic
lead for Stop and Search in Norfolk. If you have a question you can
contact Ch/Insp Broome and his team by dialling