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More progress needed on stop and search powers

More progress needed on stop and search powers

Published at 9:26am 11th February 2016. (Updated at 3:45pm 11th February 2016)

Police in North Yorkshire are fair and ethical, but there is a lack of progress on stop and search powers.

Those are the main findings of a report issued by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

In the PEEL Legitimacy Inspection Report 2015, the force is rated as 'good' overall.

It says the force complies "almost completely" with the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, but "much more needs to be done to ensure that the grounds for stops and searches are fully understood, recorded accurately and properly supervised".

Read the full report here.

Responding to the report, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: "One area flagged as needing further work is stop and search, in particular the need for the police to explain their actions.

"It's important to note that HMIC's report is consistent with feedback from local young people, who were part of the Youth Commission I set up last year. They said young people need to be confident that they are stopped for real reasons and not because of the way they look.

"North Yorkshire Police need to listen and act on this issue. Therefore, in response, they will be establishing an ongoing panel of young people to help them improve their operations in this respect."

Assistant Chief Constable Ken McIntosh, of North Yorkshire Police, added: "We acknowledge the feedback from HMIC - and the Police and Crime Commissioner - in relation to the use of stop and search, specifically to explain the use of these powers more clearly. This includes its use on younger people.

"To address this, North Yorkshire Police recently introduced stop and search 'champions' across the force - officers with particular expertise in the use of stop and search powers - who can provide advice and assistance to colleagues.

"Stops and searches are now routinely recorded on a performance dashboard and checked by supervisors. In addition, all frontline officers undertake a search training course which includes a module on stop and search."

West Yorkshire Police has also been rated as 'good' overall.

HMIC found that there is good engagement with the workforce and the 'People Ambition' programme effectively sets out how the force supports its staff in policing in an ethical manner.

The Code of Ethics has been promoted by the force and appropriately incorporated into force policies.

However, the processes used to deal with complaints and misconduct allegations may have led to inconsistencies in the way complaints are being investigated and resolved.

Read the full report here.