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  1. Published on: 24/01/2018 08:44 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Last year, BTP officers carried out nearly 3,000 stop and searches across England, Scotland and Wales.

    BTP’s Message to the Community, which is released today and can be found here, compiles the Force’s stop and search data between 1 January and 31 December 2017.

    The report shows that last year, BTP officers conducted 2,916 stop and searches, which is nearly a 70% reduction in the past five years. It also marks a 3% reduction from the previous year.

    Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “The power to stop and search is still an important tool in our fight against crime and we absolutely recognise that it must be used responsibly and according to law.

    “In the last five years, we’ve seen the number of stop and searches we carry out fall dramatically. That is due to a number of factors – officers are focussing much closer on the likelihood of finding what they’re searching for and using effective questioning before using the power.

    “We have also delivered more intensive training and updated our operational guidelines and we are scrutinising results, along with members of the community, to understand the impact of those searches.”

    From the stop and searches carried out last year, we found the object we were looking for 36% of the time – up five per cent from last year – and 45%, nearly every other search, led to a “positive outcome”. That means taking an action other than arrest, such as issuing a penalty notice or community resolution.

    Nationally, 29% of stop and searches lead to a positive outcome.

    DCC Hanstock, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Stop and Search, said: “In more than one in three stop and searches, we find what we are looking for and I hope this will give the public confidence that we are becoming more effective in the use of the power.

    “It is important to recognise that even when we find what we’re looking for, that doesn’t mean that person will then be arrested. We’re making more use of alternative options rather than taking people into custody, including community resolutions, which explains why we make an arrest less than one in five searches.

    “Every time a stop and search is carried out, the person searched is given a record which the officer completes at the time, and an information card that explains their rights, including how to make a complaint, in a clear and simple way.

    “The Stop and Search Steering Group meets every three months and holds senior officers to account by asking them to explain how stop and search is being used in their area, whether it is being managed professionally and how they can show that their officers are acting legitimately and to good effect. This wa, we hold our leaders to account and check that any activity fits with our policing priorities.”
     

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