Local people are being encouraged to share their experiences of being stopped by police with the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner and help shape how police use the power.
A new app allows people who have been stopped and searched by Greater Manchester Police to easily and anonymously submit their experience – good or bad – so Tony Lloyd can see if GMP is using the power appropriately. App users can also find out more about their rights when they are stopped by police.
The call comes as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) makes a number of recommendations to GMP to improve how it records and carries outs stop and search encounters.
Tony said: “Stop and search remains a contentious issue not just in Greater Manchester, but across the UK. When used correctly it is a useful tool to keep communities safe, but when used wrongly it can damage communities, impacting on public confidence in their local police.
“My easy to use web app gives people the opportunity to share their stop and search experiences with me, so I can see if GMP is using the power properly and help me to effectively challenge them on the issue.”
“I am determined to ensure that GMP uses this power fairly, respectfully and proportionately and there have been improvements, as HMIC recognises. But there is still a way to go. I have heard many stories from people, particularly young people, who feel they have been unfairly stopped and searched or are unhappy with how the officer has treated them – this must not happen.”
Tony has written to youth leaders across Greater Manchester asking them to encourage the young people use his web app to give their feedback on being stopped and searched in Greater Manchester.
While HMIC highlights that GMP has made progress over the last two years there is still more that needs to be done. In particular HMIC raises concerns around the recording of stop and search which doesn’t allow the effectiveness of the power to be properly determined. Inspectors were also encouraged that GMP is involving the community in assessing how they use stop and search, but also felt that more could be done to encourage and capture complaints.
Tony adds: “Work is already underway to address the recommendations in this report and I continuously challenge GMP on this issue so communities can be confident that I and the police are committed to getting stop and search right.”