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Uttoxeter cops sign up to ethical search code

By Uttoxeter Post and Times  |  Posted: September 01, 2014

By Richard Castle

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POLICE in Uttoxeter have signed up to a new code of conduct relating to their stop and search powers.

Home secretary Theresa May recently said stop and search activities were 'damaging relations between the police and the public'.

And now Staffordshire Police will record every outcome from stop and searches they conduct.

More stringent controls on the controversial Section 60 powers, which allow officers to stop and search someone if they suspect serious violence could occur.

Staffordshire Police assistant chief constable Bernie O'Reilly said: "Stop and search is a really important police power in preventing crime from happening and of course to help catch criminals.

"However, if people are inappropriately stopped and searched this can be counterproductive and damage our relationship with the public.

"This new voluntary scheme is designed to contribute to a reduction in the use of this tactic, be more intelligence led and increase the stop to arrest ratio.

"It will also provide the public with further information on the outcome of searches.

"By November, Staffordshire Police will fully comply with the scheme.

"We will comply by giving members of the public the opportunity to observe stop and search in practice and introducing a community complaints facility.

"The scheme will increase transparency, give us a better understanding of how stop and search is actually being used and help local communities hold us to account for our use of these powers."

Officers will need higher authorisation than at present to deploy Section 60 powers.

Next year, police will start mapping where the practice is used so it can be recorded when a certain area is being heavily targeted.

The adoption of the Best Use of Stop and Search Code comes as the Metropolitan Police said it used Section 60 powers after violent incidents at the Notting Hill Carnival in London on Monday.

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