Police use of Stop and Search will come under scrutiny at a public meeting this Wednesday (16 September).
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Bett, will examine the latest figures showing how many stops are being carried out by police. He will also look at who is being stopped, where stops are taking place, and how many of them result in an arrest.
“Used properly, in accordance with the rules and with respect for the rights of the person being stopped, it can be a useful tool in detecting and preventing crime and keeping our communities safer.
“Used badly, untargeted stops of innocent people without good reason can have a huge impact on community confidence and the police relationship with the public.
“Stop and search is one of the most controversial police powers, and there is a lot of concern nationally about its use. It’s therefore vital that I keep a close eye on how it’s being used in Norfolk.”
One of the ways Stephen monitors Stop and Search is through updates from Norfolk’s Chief Constable at their regular public meetings, where police performance and budgets are also on the agenda. He also reviews police complaints to identify any Stop and Search issues.
“Looking at Stop and Search statistics gives me an indication of what’s happening here in Norfolk, but what’s missing is the community input. I’d like communities to get more involved in the scrutiny process.
“Stop and Search has become much more transparent in recent years. A good example of this is the new facility on the national police.uk website which allows anyone to pull up a map of Norfolk, see how many stops happened in a particular area, when they happened, the age and ethnicity of who was stopped and the outcome.
“Information is power – it gives communities the ability to see and judge for themselves how Stop and Search is being used in Norfolk. And if they’ve got any questions or concerns, why not consider joining the Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel?
“Being on the Panel, you’ll find out about the rules for officers carrying out Stops and have the opportunity to review recent stops and ask questions. While supported by police staff, the Panel is entirely independent and the decision to challenge any particular stop is theirs alone.”
The Police Accountability Forum is taking place on Wednesday 16 September, 10am in the Filby Room at Norfolk Police HQ, Wymondham. The agenda and meeting papers can be accessed here – link.
More information on Stop and Search (including scrutiny panel).
Use police.uk Stop and Search mapping – use the ‘find your neighbourhood’ tool and select Stop and Search from the menu.