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Stop and Search Powers: Are the police using them effectively and fairly? Nick Pender.

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Presentation on theme: "Stop and Search Powers: Are the police using them effectively and fairly? Nick Pender."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stop and Search Powers: Are the police using them effectively and fairly? Nick Pender

2 Introduction Over 1m stops and searches per year 300,000 hours per year of police time Little understanding of how effective stop and search is in prevention and detection of crime Cited as a concern for police legitimacy in most of the major public inquiries into policing since the 1970s.

3 What is success 9% resulted in arrest in 11/12 Arrest rates are not a measure of effectiveness Takes no account of if an item is found or where other disposals option are used Includes arrests that are not related to the reason for the search

4 Percentage of recorded stops and searches resulting in arrest 2011/12 Source: Police Powers and Procedures England and Wales 2011/12, Home Office. The England and Wales line in Figure 2 is the total number of stop and searches resulting in arrest recorded by the 43 forces in England and Wales divided by the total population of England and Wales (multiplied by 1,000).

5 We sought to find How effectively and fairly the police use stop and search powers in the fight against crime? If operational officers know how to use stop and search powers tactically as part of evidence-based practice to fight crime? How the powers can be used in a way that builds the public’s trust in the police, supporting the legitimacy of the service rather than eroding it?

6 Effective and fair stop and search Where proper reasonable grounds for suspicion exist, they are clearly explained, and the encounter is carried out with respect and courtesy Prevents and/or detects crime; avoids unnecessary arrest; and maintains public trust How often the object of the search is found - indicates the strength of the reasonable grounds for suspicion

7 Methodology INSPECTION All 43 police forces inspected Policies, procedures and guidance to officers Interviewed over 500 senior officers Focus groups with 550 front-line staff REALITY TESTING Unannounced visits to at least two police stations in each force Attended briefings and DMMs 8783 search records reviewed Video footage from body worn cameras NATIONAL OVERVIEW National stop & search data Compared forms to determine what information is collected and why? Surveyed 19,078 members of the public and 391 people who had been searched

8 Legislation Over 20 statutory powers to stop and search Three used most frequently: - section 1 Police and Criminal Evidence Act section 23 Misuse of Drugs Act section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

9 What the public think A quarter believed stop and search is used too often on certain groups Those who were searched - 47% were not treated with respect and 59% were not given any privacy (78%) believed that stop and search helps the police to catch criminals (92%) were aware that police use stop and search. over half said this made them feel safer Public support stop and search but that diminishes when they perceive they are overused People 391 Searched

10 Leadership Not seen as a priority by most chief officers – using wrong data to assess importance Slipped down chief constables’ agenda since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report Use of powers not targeted at priority crimes 13 forces are developing an understanding of effectiveness (the rest (30) consider only volume, arrest rate, and ethnicity data)

11 Supervision and compliance Very low levels of supervision of encounters and records (requirement of code of practice) 27% of 8783 records reviewed did not have reasonable grounds for suspicion recorded Only 7 forces had over 90% compliance (only 2 had over 95%)

12 Supervision and compliance Of the 391 respondents stopped and searched: 44% said the police acted reasonably 37% said they weren’t told the reason 42% said they didn’t understand the reason 47% said they weren’t treated with respect 39% said their opinion of police had diminished 24% said their opinion of police had improved

13 Governance and scrutiny Less than half of forces (19) arranged public scrutiny of stop and search Half of forces (21) did nothing to understand the impact on communities Only four forces seek the views of people who have been stopped and searched

14 Effectiveness and Fairness Lack of information collected means forces cannot understand the impact on crime or communities – the bureaucracy challenge! Only 7 forces record if the item searched for was found. Only 25 record if an item is found.

15 Effectiveness and Fairness Only 11 record the reason for arrest Only 21 record the use of non-arrest disposals Less than half (19) of forces monitor and review the use of section 60 CJPO

16 Training Most officers not trained beyond recruitment Half (21) of forces provide refresher training Many officers do not understand reasonable grounds for suspicion Supervisors do not know what is required of them

17 Use of technology 17 forces record electronically Reduction in data collected means forces cannot assess effective or fair use Only 9 forces are able map stop and search against crime Body-worn video and other technology can offer opportunities

18 Recommendations Establish an understanding of what effective and fair use of the powers means Monitor use of the powers for legality and effectiveness Improve supervision of encounters and records Develop and implement national training Improve intelligence gathering

19 Recommendations (con) Communicate with communities and involve them in scrutiny Consider the views of those stopped and searched, particularly those who are dissatisfied Introduce a national stop and search form Explore technology solutions

20 Our commitment Re-visit within 18 months


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