The Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme was announced by the Home Secretary in her statement to Parliament on 30th April 2014.
The principal aims of the Scheme are to achieve greater transparency, community involvement in the use of stop and search powers and to support a more intelligence-led approach, leading to better outcomes, for example, an increase in the stop and search to positive outcome ratio.
The features of the Scheme are:
Data Recording – forces will record the broader range of stop and search outcomes e.g. arrests, cautions, penalty notices for disorder and all other disposal types. Forces will also show the link, or lack of one, between the object of the search and its outcome.
Lay observation policies – providing the opportunity for members of the local community to accompany police officers on patrol using stop and search.
Stop and search complaints 'community trigger' – a local complaint policy requiring the police to explain to local community scrutiny groups how the powers are being used where there is a large volume of complaints.
Reducing section 60 ‘no-suspicion’ stop and searches by – raising the level of authorisation to senior officer (above the rank of chief superintendent); ensuring that section 60 stop and search is only used where it is deemed necessary – and making this clear to the public;
in anticipation of serious violence, the authorising officer must reasonably believe that an incident involving serious violence will take place rather than may;
limiting the duration of initial authorisations to no more than 15 hours (down from 24); and
communicating to local communities when there is a section 60 authorisation in advance (where practicable) and afterwards, so that the public is kept informed of the
purpose and success of the operation.
By adopting the Scheme, forces will use stop and search strategically, which will improve public confidence and trust.
Download – BUSSS Guidance.