Watch­dog slams po­lice over stop and search use

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP - STU­ART GREER

BLACK, Asian and mi­nor­ity eth­nic groups are ‘dis­pro­por­tion­ately’ sub­jected to stop and search in Cheshire, the po­lice watch­dog claims.

In its ‘le­git­i­macy’ appraisal pub­lished on Fe­bru­ary 11, Her Majesty’s In­spec­torate Of Con­stab­u­lar­ies (HMIC) said that Cheshire Po­lice had not shown ev­i­dence that it had tried to work out why.

HMIC added that ‘too many’ stop and search records did not con­tain ‘suf­fi­cient rea­son­able grounds for con­duct­ing the search’.

The watch­dog raised fur­ther ‘ con­cern’ over a lack of ‘su­per­vi­sion’ of th­ese records and that it was ‘ clear that Cheshire Con­stab­u­lary is not com­ply­ing with the best use of stop and search scheme’.

It came as HMIC also pub­lished a broader re­view of stop and search, ac­cus­ing po­lice forces of an ‘in­ex­cus­able’ lack of im­prove­ment, with 13 in­clud­ing Cheshire out of 43 forces not com­ply­ing with ex­pected stan­dards.

Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May has sus­pended those 13 po­lice forces in­clud­ing Cheshire from the ‘best use of stop and search’ scheme.

John Dwyer, Cheshire Po­lice And Crime Com­mis­sioner, said work has al­ready taken place to im­prove its use of stop and search.

Cheshire po­lice said it had not been sus­pended from us­ing stop and search pow­ers, but that its sus­pen­sion means it is no longer in­cluded in the list of top-per­form­ing con­stab­u­lar­ies.

There were plus points for Cheshire po­lice in HMIC’s in­tegrity re­port, with the watch­dog prais­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate the use of tasers.

It also graded the con­stab­u­lary as ‘out­stand­ing’ in how it en­gages with and fairly treats the pub­lic, adding that of­fi­cers were well di­rected through the ‘We’re Here’ scheme.

The le­git­i­macy re­port, which as­sessed ethics and pro­fes­sional stan­dards, graded Cheshire po­lice as ‘good’ over­all.

It said staff were ‘gen­er­ally’ sat­is­fied that re­cruit­ment and pro­mo­tions were fair, trans­par­ent and free from bias.

The Chief Con­sta­ble and his team ac­tively pro­moted the ‘Spice’ val­ues of ser­vice, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, in­tegrity, com­pas­sion, and equal­ity and fair­ness.

Re­flect­ing on the over­all re­port, Chief Con­sta­ble Si­mon Byrne said: “We are rightly proud of the ser­vice we de­liver to the pub­lic here in Cheshire – and un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­act­ing with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties is the bread and but­ter of ev­ery­day polic­ing.”

●● Res­i­dents Tom O’Brian, left, Cyn­thia Brooke, be­hind, and Irene Belfield, back,with staff mem­ber Sophie Doug in the minibus

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