Community policing means we need to get the use of stop and search right or risk damaging community confidence, says Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Tony Lloyd’s comments are in response to a HMIC report, published today, which found that the majority of police forces don’t understand how to use these powers effectively and fairly to prevent and detect crime, threatening the legitimacy of the police.
It follows the launch of a six week consultation into stop and search, announced by the Home Office last week, that will look at whether stop and search is used appropriately and fairly, and how it can be better targeted and more intelligence-led.
Tony said: “Stop and search is important in tackling crime. But it’s also controversial and it’s crucial that police use it at the right times and in the right way. When it isn’t used properly it has a damaging impact on community confidence, particularly among young people and black and minority ethnic communities.
“I welcome the report from HMIC which highlights issues I’m already looking at in Greater Manchester.”
In January, Greater Manchester Police rolled out a new recording procedure for stop and search. Officers now record an encounter via their radio, instead of filling out a long form. The changes mean that stop and search data is more immediately available and can be better monitored and scrutinised.
“It is right that GMP has already made steps to improve the way it uses stop and search,” adds Tony. “But there is still some way to go so the public can be sure this power isn’t being abused. This is why I’m examining ways for people who do have concerns about the use of this power can feedback any issues to me.
“Policing by consent is central to our police force – without the community on board then the police can’t effectively do their job. The majority of Greater Manchester’s residents are law-abiding and they need to be reassured that stop and search is being used transparently and with integrity at all times, to target criminals and keep our communities safe.”