Crime Commissioner praises force for being open and transparent

PCC Olly Martins with PC Lauren Holt on patrol in Kempston.
PCC Olly Martins with PC Lauren Holt on patrol in Kempston.

Video footage of police carrying out stop and searches is the latest example of Beds Police being open and transparent according to Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins.

He was speaking after attending a session at Luton Police Station where a public panel scrutinised the stop and search paperwork and video footage.

Younger people - who are more likely to be stopped - are soon to be invited to add to the breadth of the panel’s representation.

Earlier this year, body worn video cameras were rolled out for use by the force’s frontline officers across the county.

These allow stop and searches as well as other encounters with members of the public to be recorded, capturing an accurate and transparent account of the process.

Mr Martins said: “Along with the Channel Four ‘24 Hours in Police Custody’ series and our ‘ride along’ initiative where members of the public can patrol with an officer, Bedfordshire Police is demonstrating its commitment to letting the public see and understand the work that is done on their behalf. ‘24 Hours’ has been remarkable for its authenticity.

“Indeed by promoting greater public understanding of the challenges police officers face on a daily basis we will see rising levels of trust and confidence in policing, which can only be a good thing.”

Beds Police is part of Home Office’s Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, which aims to achieve greater transparency and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers. As part of this, the force has also introduced its ‘ride along’ scheme, which offers people the chance to go out on patrol with officers.

The Commissioner said: “This enables people living in Bedfordshire to see at close quarters a range of policing techniques in action.”