Police are using stop and search lawfully
HER Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has reported it is confident that Warwickshire Police officers are using their stop and search powers proportionately and lawfully. Owing to this the force has been reinstated on the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme this week.
In February 2016, HMIC reported that Warwickshire Police 'required improvement' in using stop and search powers and was temporarily suspended from the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme. Whilst the force has been suspended from the scheme, we have continued to use our stop and search powers where appropriate and necessary. We have worked determinedly to ensure stop and search is more effective and targeted by being more intelligence led and allowing the public to scrutinise the use of our powers.
Amanda Blakeman, Assistant Chief Constable, said: "Warwickshire Police has a clear vision for stop and search and that is to achieve the highest level of trust and confidence in our use of stop and search as a means for tackling crime and keeping your streets safe.
"Our officers and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are continuously compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme. Stop and search is an important power and method of engaging with the public that enables us to maintain order and create safer places for people to live."
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, said: "Stop and search remains a useful policing power but the public must have full confidence that it is used fairly and proportionately. It is essential that proper records are kept when a stop and search is carried out and that there is effective management and oversight of its use.
"The news that Warwickshire Police is now fully compliant with the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search scheme is an important step in helping to establish that public confidence but I will continue to monitor this area of the force's activity closely."
Warwickshire Police believe that stop and search powers should be used with the support and understanding of all communities, and that this support is developed by ensuring that all members of the public are treated with dignity and respect at all times, and most particularly when being stopped and searched.
A further way we ensure that we are compliant is through the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Strategic Stop and Search Board, which meets quarterly to work to a Strategic Action Plan which incorporates all HMIC recommendations and the recommendations from the All-party Parliamentary Group for Children. These actions are raised and discussed regularly at independent community groups to ensure that we are being open and transparent with the community.
To ensure accountability, comprehensive monthly stop and search data is also published on our website (https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/article/15368/Data--Statistics) for you to view.