Stop and Search Action Plan
A Stop and Search Summit took place at Tally Ho Police Training
Centre, Pershore Road, Birmingham, on Friday 20 September 2013.
There were speakers from:
- West Midlands Police
- HM Inspectorate of Constabulary
- Equalities and Human Rights Commission
- Independent Police Complaints Commission
- College of Policing
The day included presentations on recording of stop and search,
and use of Schedule 7 powers by West Midlands Police. Chief
Inspector Matt Markham presented the findings of his recent
research with Coventry University on perceptions of Stop and Search
in the West Midlands. There were opportunities for
delegates to put their questions and have their say on this vital
area of policing business.
The summit indicated agreement for a stop and search action
plan that included objectives, deadlines and
responsibilities. At its core were three linked issues:
training (with community input), better recording of stop and
search and improved public accountability. It was agreed that
the action plan would itself be subject to public
consultation. In summary, the stop and search action plan
- Mandatory stop & search training will be delivered to all
front line police officers. The training package will be subject to
consultation with representatives of Stop & Search Scrutiny
- All front line supervisors will receive additional training
regarding their managerial and leadership responsibilities
Without solid data, it is difficult to be sure whether stop and
search powers are being used proportionately and effectively.
New data recording and analysis processes are therefore in place,
offering police leaders much better information about how officers
are using the powers. Better data, coupled to closer
oversight, has led to a reduction in the use of stop and search
powers but more arrests arising from searches.
On 1st December 2014, West Midlands Police became one of
thirty five forces to launch an electronic recording system that
provides detailed information about how stop and search is
used. The Best use of Stop and Search scheme, launched by the Home
Office aims to:
- increase transparency by recording all outcomes of stop and
search and whether there is a connection between the grounds for
the search and the outcome;
- restrict the use of Section 60 "no suspicion" powers;
- give members of the public the opportunity to observe stop and
search in practice; and
- introduce a community complaints trigger - ensuring that
complaints are properly monitored and scrutinised.
The plan proposes that stop and search data is to be made
available via a website portal. The portal would present
information in a similar way to the www.police.uk website, and would
be hosted on the force and PCC's websites.
The portal would enable people to see where and when Stop and
Searches have taken place. It would also be possible to
overlay other information, such as crime levels in an area to see
how they compare with the number of Stop and Searches taking
In future, when a Stop and Search takes place, the person will
be given a written reference number. This reference number
could then be entered into the website portal to bring up details
of that Stop and Search.
There are ten locally based stop and search scrutiny panels,
which will be invited to meet with the PCC twice a year.
Here, Pamela Cole-Hudson from Gazebo Theatre Company, discusses
her involvement in a stop and search scrutiny panel:
See here for more
information on the stop and search scrutiny panels.
Body worn cameras
West Midlands Police is piloting the use of body worn
cameras. Their relevance to stop & search will be
explored during this pilot.
The consultation ran through November and December 2013 and a
report on the results was presented to the Strategic Policing and
Crime Board on 7 January 2014.
West Midlands Police and Crime Panel
West Midlands Police and Crime Panel is an independent committee
made up of councillors and members of the public that scrutinises
and supports the work of the Police and Crime
See here for more information about
the Police and Crime Panel.