– 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by on 2016-03-01.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they intend to take in the light of the findings of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary’s recent PEEL: Police legitimacy 2015 report, and the comments by HM’s Inspector of Constabulary that far too many forces were not complying with the Home Office and College of Policing Best Use of Stop and Search scheme

Lord Bates

HM Inspector of Constabulary’s (HMIC’s) findings on stop and search powers, particularly compliance with the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, as published in their National Legitimacy Report, are concerning. The voluntary Scheme was launched fully in December 2014 and all 43 forces, as well as the British Transport Police, signed up to it to demonstrate that their force is using stop and search powers fairly, effectively and in a way that builds community confidence. HMIC found 13 forces non-compliant in three or more components of the Scheme, and a further 19 were found to be non-compliant with at least one. This represents an unacceptable breach of the Scheme’s terms and, accordingly, membership of the 13 forces was immediately suspended on 10 February; the remaining 19 forces not fully compliant have been put on notice.

HMIC will inspect forces suspended from the Scheme to assess progress with compliance over the next 6 months. Forces are also required to set out details on how full compliance with the Scheme’s requirements will be achieved as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s duty to respond to HMIC reports, as set out in section 55 of the Police Act 1996. This information, as well as the findings from HMIC’s follow-up visits to determine the progress made, will inform the decision in the summer on whether to lift the suspension from the Scheme or remove forces altogether.