Every year West Midlands Police stops and searches thousands of people providing they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect an individual is carrying:
- A weapon
- Stolen property
- Something which could be used to commit a crime, e.g. a crowbar
- Illegal drugs
However, West Midlands Police acknowledges that it is a controversial policing tactic. As such, the force has set up 10 stop and search scrutiny panels. The panels are made up of members of the public who are asked to analyse anonymised stop and search records and view body worn video to check that the correct procedure has been followed and the use of force was proportionate. The aim is to ensure there is full transparency, improve confidence in policing and better practices.
Every six months, representatives from each Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel come together as a ‘Stop and Search Commission’ to consider wider issues that may exist within West Midlands Police. For more information please contact the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.