Bedfordshire Police has fully launched the government’s Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.
The voluntary scheme - announced by the Home Secretary in April - is part of a range of measures that will contribute to a reduction in the overall use of stop and search, lead to better and more intelligence-led stop and searches and more effective outcomes.
A total of 35 forces, including Beds, will be implementing all aspects of the scheme to:
>Increase transparency by recording all outcomes of stop and search and whether there is a connection between the grounds for the search and the outcome.
>Restrict the use of Section 60 “no suspicion” powers.
>Give members of the public the opportunity to observe stop and search in practice.
>Introduce a community complaints trigger – ensuring that complaints are properly monitored and scrutinised.
Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Collette Paul said: “I am proud to announce our full compliance with this scheme. It is only right that we are completely open to scrutiny from the public.
“We have introduced a ‘community scrutiny panel’, where members of the public can assess video worn camera footage worn by officers carrying out stop and search; allowing for increased transparency and encouraging involvement with our communities.
“We also have a ‘Ride Along’ initiative where members of the public can accompany officers on patrol.
“By joining the scheme and putting in place all its requirements we are now much more community focused in our use of the tactic.
“Stop and search is a crucial tool available to us on behalf of our communities in our purpose to fight crime and protect the public.”