Police have rolled out a new stop and search recording procedure across Greater Manchester. From Wednesday 12 December 2012, officers no longer fill out a long form and instead record a stop and search encounter via their radio.
Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s new Police and Crime Commissioner, hopes the changes will help improve the public’s confidence in the police.
Tony said: “The use of stop and search by the police has had a damaging impact on communities in the past. I’ve listened to people’s concerns and their experiences of stop and search and it’s clear that this can be a reason when confidence in the police is low, particularly among young people and black and minority ethnic communities. I hope these changes and the accompanying police officer training will help to improve the relationship between these groups and the police.”
The changes to the recording procedure mean that stop and search data is more immediately available and can be better monitored and scrutinised.
Tony added: “The majority of Greater Manchester’s residents are law-abiding and they need to be reassured that stop and search is being used at the right times and in the right way, to target criminals and keep our communities safe. Hopefully, this new recording procedure will go some way in building public trust.”
Deputy Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins said: “Stop and search is a powerful tool in the fight against crime and it is important that we make sure we use this power proportionately to make sure we give people the reassurance that it is not being abused.
“The system has been piloted in Bolton, Wigan and Trafford before rolling it out across the Force. It has proved to be much quicker and less intrusive for members of the public.
“The fact that the radio automatically records time, date, location and other information means less bureaucracy and allows our officers more time to be out and about keeping our communities safe.
“The technology also allows us to closely monitor and ensure that officers are using the power to stop and search to combat crime effectively by being in the right place, at the right time.”
The changes to the stop and search recording procedure follow a pilot on the Bolton division. Trafford and Wigan rolled out in October 2012.
Any person who is searched, and not arrested, is offered a receipt of the encounter. This records the details of the officer and date and time of the encounter.
Details from the receipt can be used to ask for a written record of the search by completing an enquiry form online or by visiting a local police station.
The changes are as a result of an amendment to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, which came about as a result of the Crime and Security Act 2010.
To find out more about police stops in Greater Manchester go to our stop and search page.