Joining a scheme to prevent misuse of stop and search
CRIME has been falling in the Thames Valley Police area overall and so people in the Chesham & Amersham constituency area can feel more secure that they, their homes and families will be safe.
It is important, though, that people have confidence in the work of our police officers. Nationally, one of the things that has caused concern is the use of stop and search powers.
It is an important power, but, if it is used wrongly, then it can do a lot of harm to the relationship between our police and members of the public. Someone who is innocent, stopped and searched for no good reason, could feel that this is not right and that the process is unjust.
Thames Valley, like the other police forces across Britain, have voluntarily joined a scheme called Best Use of Stop and Search. During August, the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, launched the reforms and said that the misuse of stop and search powers “can be an enormous waste of police time”.
The aim is to be more transparent about the process of stop and search, by recording all the outcomes when searches take place, and by providing information about the connection between the grounds for a search and the outcome.
By November, all police services will have put all aspects of the changes into place.
Public involvement is key to making the process transparent. Police services like Thames Valley will be giving members of the public the chance to observe ‘stop and search’ in practice.
There is also going to be a system called the community complaints trigger. If in any area there is a large number of complaints, then the police will have to give an explanation of how they are operating stop and search powers.
Cheryl Gillan MP for Chesham & Amersham