Today (Thursday 22 September 2016) Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary has published the results of a revisit inspection report into the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme. This confirms that Cheshire Constabulary is now complying with this.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “I welcome the announcement today by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary that Cheshire is now fully compliant with the ‘Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme’. As a force, this is an issue that we have taken extremely seriously since it was highlighted in our inspection.
“Stop and Search is a vital power for the police service to protect people and reduce and deter criminality in the local community. It is imperative that we apply our powers to individuals in a fair and legitimate way and that our actions are monitored to give the public confidence in how we use stop and search in Cheshire.
“Over the past six months a key area of focus has been to raise awareness and improve training for officers to ensure they fully understand the grounds required for stop and search, and that they record sufficient information to justify the use of this power.”
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said: “It is my job as Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure stop and search powers are used appropriately. The public can be reassured that the Constabulary has improved its position since the inspection. It is addressing the issues raised by HMIC and improving the way it works. I am pleased to see the progress that has been made and I will continue to monitor the situation, and challenge the Chief Constable as necessary, to ensure this continues.
“The Constabulary has improved public scrutiny in this area. This includes recruiting a panel of lay observers to see first-hand the work carried out by officers and to feedback on this to the Strategic Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel, which meets on a quarterly basis, to explain to local community groups how it is using stop and search powers, and to provide channels for the public to raise any issues – positive or negative – with the Constabulary.
“The Stop and Search Ride Along Scheme is an opportunity for Cheshire residents to gain a real insight into the work of the Constabulary and provides an opportunity to speak to officers and staff about what goes on in their neighbourhood, and I encourage members of the public to sign-up to this scheme.”
Read more information on Stop and Search.
I am pleased to see the progress that has been made and I will continue to monitor the situation, and challenge the Chief Constable as necessary, to ensure this continues.