West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson hosted the bi-annual Stop and Search Commission meeting on the 17th January 2018. The Commission brought together the public, including members of scrutiny panels from across the region, to challenge and improve West Midlands Police’s use of stop and search.
David Jamieson said: “Stop and search is a tactic that at its best can take weapons or illegal items off the street and protect the public. However it must be used proportionately and effectively to prevent community division and any increase in tension between the police and the people they serve.”
Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie said: “Stop and Search, when used correctly can be a real force for good. Engaging with partners and the public is crucial to ensuring good oversight, and increases public understanding of their rights when being stopped and searched. We have made good progress but more work is needed.”
The Stop and Search Commission connects scrutiny panels and other interested people that are working to improve the police use of the tactic. The Commission is doing important work making people safer and holding the police to account on their use of stop and search.
Significant progress has been made in stop and search thanks to a joint action plan by West Midlands Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner. Following work over a number of years, use of stop and search is down and positive outcome rates are up. Racial disproportionality remains a serious issue, and the scrutiny panels made up of the public continue to shine a spotlight on this.
Acting Seargant William Salt, Stop and Search Lead from West Midlands Police said: “West Midlands Police is committed to ensuring that all stop and searches are conducted in an ethical and fair manner and only when lawful grounds exist. With the support of public commissions, independent advisory groups and public scrutiny panels, we have reduced the number of searches conducted over the past decade whilst keeping the level of positive searches constant. This demonstrates that officers are now better trained to search the correct individuals and to accurately record the reasons and powers behind each search.”
The next Stop and Search Commission meeting is to be held in the summer of 2018.Back to News Archive