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Stop and Search: Immediate sign up to new measures “shows policing by consent at its best”

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner says that the Constabulary’s immediate implementation of new restrictions on the use of stop and search powers demonstrates clear commitment to the Peelian principles of transparency, integrity and accountability in policing.

Cambridgeshire has signed up to the Home Secretary’s new measures which restrict the ‘no suspicion’ powers which allow officers to stop and search members of the public even when they do not suspect a crime has been committed.

Sir Graham Bright said: “Cambridgeshire’s immediate implementation of the new measures shows policing by consent at its best. We have a proud history of engaging with all of our communities positively. We must continue to do things the right way by dealing with everything, including stop and search, in a fair, transparent and accountable way. I am delighted that Cambridgeshire is among the first to show a clear commitment to those principles which are aimed at improving trust and confidence in our police.”

Following a 2013 consultation into stop and search, the Home Secretary issued a number of measures. While she has been unable to make the measures compulsory, they will instead be introduced on a voluntary basis. All 43 forces have now agreed to sign up to the new measures, but Cambridgeshire is one of the first to agree to implement the restrictions immediately.

The restrictions and measures include:

  • Authorisation must be from an Association of Chief Police Officers level officer (Chief Constable, Deputy or Assistant Chief Constables)
  • The authorising officer must reasonably believe that an incident involving serious violence will take place rather than may take place
  • The initial authorisation has been reduced to no more than 15 hours, down from 24 hours
  • Local communities must be made aware in advance (where practicable) and afterwards, when a section 60 has been authorised so they can be informed of the purpose and success of the operation
  • Broader data recording – a broader range of stop and search outcomes to be recorded including arrests, cautions, penalty notices for disorder and all other disposal types
  • Community transparency – allow members of the local community to accompany officers on patrol using stop and search
  • Community scrutiny – allow local community representatives to enquire and challenge how the powers are being used