Police to work with communities to ensure stop and search powers are lawful

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Nottinghamshire Police says it is determined to work with communities to ensure its use of stop and search powers are lawful, proportionate and people are treated with respect.

It comes as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) published findings of an inspection of 43 police forces around the use of stop and search powers.

And while the report acknowledges that Nottinghamshire has clear leadership supported by strong strategic governance, the force accepts that there is still work to do to ensure communities are confident that the powers are being used appropriately and that data is recorded accurately.

Highlights include:

• Officers think that it is important to treat people who have been stopped and searched with respect, dignity and courtesy

• A clear action plan to drive stop and search activity

• An external communications strategy

• A revised policy that has been out for public consultation, consultation events with young people and community organisations, and online webchats

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said: “We welcome the HMIC’s findings into the Force’s use of stop and search and will continue to drive this forward.

“Over the last year, we have introduced a number of key measures to ensure that officers use stop and search powers fairly, responsibly, with respect for those who are being searched and without unlawful discrimination.

“There has been significant progress in the way stop and search is recorded via mobile data devices and audited, and training is continuing for frontline officers to reiterate the importance of conducting searches appropriately.

“People living in Nottinghamshire understand that stop and search powers are a tactic used to detect and prevent crime, but we accept that for people to have confidence in these powers, we need to ensure they are used appropriately.

“Nationally the Government has acknowledged the need to keep improving the effectiveness of stop and search by targeting our officers to where intelligence tells us priority crimes are being committed and so leading to increased positive outcomes.

“I agree with this and will be continuing to lead and supervise those using these powers, ensuring the most effective tools possible are available to record every encounter. We will keep our communities updated as it is in everybody’s interests that we get this right.”