Stop-search is reformed

SURREY Police have launched two key elements of their new Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, Home Secretary Theresa May announced last week.

The scheme aims to significantly reduce the use of stop and search, instead delivering a better, more intelligence-led system, and improve the ratio of stops in relation to arrests. They will also provide more public information on the outcome of arrests.

The Force will in future record all stop and search outcomes and analyse the link between the grounds for searches and those outcomes.

They will also restrict officers’ use of Section 60 ‘no suspicion’ powers by mandating that the chief officer must first decide their justification then authorise their use.

And in cases where officers expect serious violence, they will have to ‘reasonably believe’ that violence will occur, rather than just think it might.

By November, Surrey Police will have to allow the public to observe stop and search being carried out and will introduce a community complaints ‘trigger’.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales have signed up to the scheme and as from now 24 of them – including Surrey – will implement the extra data-recording and ‘no-suspicion’ measures. The Home Secretary said: “Nobody wins when stop and search is misused. It can be a huge waste of police time and can damage the Force’s reputation with the public.

“I am delighted that Surrey Police will reform their powers under the new Best Use scheme.”

Surrey Police Chief Superintendent, Charlie Doyle, said: “Stop and search must be used intelligently and proportionately to be effective; I am committed to ensuring this power is used appropriately.”

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