New stop and search guidance out for consultation

Frontline officers leading a consultation on new draft Authorised Professional Practice

​A panel of frontline officers will lead a consultation on new national guidance for stop and search.

The guidance, released for consultation last month, is designed to help officers ensure they are using stop and search appropriately and proportionately.

The draft Authorised Professional Practice (APP) builds on the College of Policing's new definition of a fair and effective stop and search.

Four core elements underpin the definition:

  1. The decision to stop and/or search a person must be fair.
  2. The search must be legal in basis and in application.
  3. Interaction with the public during the encounter must be professional.
  4. Police use of stop and search powers must be transparent and accountable.

 More than 60 frontline officers from forces across England and Wales have agreed to join a special consultation group to assist with the draft guidance, which brings together Code A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme and recommendations from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

College of Policing stop and search lead, Nick Glynn, said:

"When used in the right way, stop and search can help in preventing and detecting crime.  However, unlawful, unfair or unnecessary use can have negative consequences that make officers' jobs harder.

"We know how hard forces work to protect the public, so it's important they are supported by the professional body for policing with full and informative guidance and training.

"I would ask all those involved or interested in policing and in criminal justice in general to respond to our consultation, which poses key questions on the use of stop and search. Our frontline officer panel will be invaluable in shaping our guidance to be as practical and relevant as possible.

"We are currently analysing the results of a training pilot we conducted with six forces on unconscious bias in stop and search and we've used feedback from this to inform this APP and our new training products."

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