Police in Kirklees will implement a new scheme to improve the use of controversial ‘Stop and Search’ powers, starting today.
The voluntary scheme, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in April, is designed to deliver better and more intelligence-led stop and search, significantly reduce its overall use, and improve stop-to-arrest ratios.
The new measures will include for the first time all outcomes of stop and search and whether there is a connection between the grounds for the search and the outcome will be logged and published on data.police.uk.
And by November members of the public will be given the opportunity to observe stop and search in practice; together with the introduction of a community complaints trigger.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Stop and search powers are really important to help us with the work we do to prevent and detect crime and make our communities safer and feel safer.
“We recognise that these powers need to be used in a targeted and effective way and with professionalism and proportionality. We have independent scrutiny panels which look at stop search activity on a regular basis to assess how officers have used these powers and whether the use was both necessary and appropriate.
“The scheme announced today will ensure that we continue to make improvements in the way we use our stop and search powers and we welcome the greater transparency and public accountability this will bring.”
Mark Burns Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “Stop and Search needs to be intelligence led, used proportionately, sensitively and fairly and those stopped should clearly understand the reason for the search.
“I am delighted that West Yorkshire Police has signed up to the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme.”
Our region’s force is one of 23 forces to implement the additional data recording and “no-suspicion” measures from today.
The Home Office has also launched a consultation on revising the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) Code A. The consultation on the Code, which governs the police’s use of stop and search, will last eight weeks.