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Stop and search

The use of stop and search powers allow the police to tackle crime and keep our communities safe. Stop and search is targeted and intelligence-led, taking place predominantly in areas where serious acquisitive crime (burglary, vehicle crime and robbery) and violence is taking place and on people who are known or suspected to be involved in these crimes.

The police have the legal right to stop members of the public, and search them, for a variety of reasons. These powers require an officer to have ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ that an individual has the prohibited item in their possession.

About Stop and Search

Only a police officer can stop and search you, your clothes and anything you are carrying. You may be stopped because the officer may have grounds to suspect that you are carrying:

  • Drugs, weapons or stolen property
  • Items that could be used to commit crime or cause criminal damage.

The grounds the police officer must have should be based on facts, information or intelligence, or could be because of the way you are behaving. There are times, however, when police officers can search anyone within a certain area such as Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 where there is evidence that serious violence has or will take place.

The term ‘Section 60’ refers to Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. This is a distinct power that allows officers to conduct searches without ‘reasonable suspicion’ but only when a chief officer believes serious violence will occur; an order for a specified locality and time may be put in place for this to happen. Northumbria Police will communicate with the public in the areas where a section 60 authorisation is to be put in place in advance (where practical) and afterwards.

Being stopped does not mean you are under arrest or have done something wrong. In some cases people are stopped as part of a wide-ranging effort to catch criminals in a targeted public space. A police officer needs no reason to speak to you, however, they must have reasonable grounds for stopping and searching you; they are required to tell you what that reason is. You should not be stopped just because of your age, race, ethnic background, nationality, faith, the language you speak or because you have committed a crime in the past.

During a Stop & Search

Everyone has a civic duty to help police officers prevent crime and catch offenders. The fact that the police may have stopped someone does not mean they are guilty of an offence. Apart from the inconvenience, people may feel irritated that they’ve been stopped when they haven’t done anything wrong – that’s completely understandable. However, the stop and search will be much quicker if a person co-operates with police officers.

The officer must be polite, respectful and courteous at all times. Northumbria Police is committed to continuously improving standards around the delivery of service to its communities. We are working towards using body worn video cameras whenever we stop search someone, if it is appropriate in the circumstances. A stop and search may take a little time but the process should be handled efficiently and professionally. The search is not voluntary. If you do not cooperate, the officer can use reasonable force to conduct the search.

The police officer who stops and searches you must provide you with certain information including: Grounds for the search, object of the search, warrant card if they’re not in uniform, identity of who the officer is, station the officer is from, entitlement to a copy of the search record, legal power being used to detain you, you are being detained for the purpose of a search.

Vehicle Stops

A police officer can legally stop any vehicle at any time and ask to see the driver’s licence. They can also ask where you are going and why. If the process ends there, this is considered a ‘vehicle stop’. If, however, a police officer then tells you to step out of the vehicle and it is then searched, this is a ‘vehicle stop and search’.

FAQ

Who can stop me?

A police officer or a police community support officer can stop you. A police officer does not have to be in uniform but if they are not wearing uniform they must show you their warrant card. Try to stay calm and don’t be afraid to speak to the officer if you think your rights are being infringed.

Where can I be searched?

Anywhere in a public place, if the police believe you have committed or are about to commit a crime. If you are in a public place, you only have to take off your coat or jacket and your gloves, unless you have been stopped in relation to terrorism or where the officer believes you are using clothes to hide your identity. If the officer asks you to take off more than this or anything you wear for religious reason, such as a face scarf, veil or turban, they must take you somewhere out of public view. This does not mean you are being arrested. In this case, the police officer that searches you must be the same sex as you.

What should I do if I am stopped and searched?

It’s up to you whether to provide your name and address. You don’t have to, but the best advice is that you should co-operate with the police. Be patient: The police are aware that being searched is an inconvenience, and that you’re probably in a hurry to get where you’re going. They should make the search as brief as possible. However, in the interest of public safety they must also be thorough. Be calm: Remember that you are not under arrest. Don’t refuse to be stopped and searched. The process is not voluntary, the law gives the police the authority to stop and search. In almost all cases, an individual should be given a record of the stop and search at the time it happens.

During a stop and search what information will the police ask for?

The police officer will ask for your name and address and date of birth. You do not need to give this information if you don’t want to unless the police officer says they are reporting you for an offence. Everyone who is stopped and searched will be asked to define their ethnic background. You can choose from a list of national census categories that the officer will show you. You do not have to say what your ethnicity is if you don’t want to, but the officer is required to record this on the form. The ethnicity question helps us and community representatives make sure the police are using their powers fairly and proportionately.

Is this a police record?

The fact that you are stopped and searched does not mean that you are under arrest or have done anything wrong. The officer is required to complete a form. The completing and issuing of the search form does not amount to you having a police record.

What paperwork do I get after a stop and search?

You should receive a written record of the search at the time of the event. If you want to take our feedback survey or complain, either about being searched or the way it was carried out, this record will help identify the circumstances. Police may use the search record at a later date to contact you about anything that may have happened in that area around the time you were stopped. You will normally be given a search record at the time of the event. However, because of operational demands you may be told where to collect the record later. A record must be available for up to three months.

What are my rights?

What are my rights?

 

 

The officers searching you must use the stop and search powers fairly, responsibly and with dignity & respect for people without discriminating.

 

 

If English is not your first language, and you do not understand why you have been stopped, reasonable steps must be taken to provide you with information in your own language.

The officer must make sure that the search time is kept to a minimum.

 

The search must take place near where you are stopped, except in instances where moving you would protect your privacy.

The officer does not have the power to stop you in order to find grounds for a search. More information on your rights when you are stopped and searched is available from the gov.uk website.

 

Your right to complain

If you are unhappy with how you were treated you can give us your feedback and by working with us, we can ensure that we continue to use stop and search powers to the satisfaction of our communities, helping to create safer communities.

You can also make a complaint. You should complain if you think you have been treated unfairly, been the subject of discrimination or not treated with dignity, respect and civility. It will help if you keep the form that the police gave you.

You can complete our online feedback or complaints for here. 

 

What are my responsibilities?

Everyone has a civic duty to help police officers prevent crime and catch offenders. The fact that the police may have stopped someone does not mean they are guilty of an offence.

Apart from the inconvenience, people may feel irritated that they've been stopped when they haven't done anything wrong – that's completely understandable. However, the stop or stop and search will be much quicker if a person co-operates with police officers.

Don't forget that a stop and search must be carried out according to strict rules – the police have responsibility to ensure that your rights are protected. Everyone should expect to be treated fairly and responsibility.

In almost all cases, an individual should be given a record of the stop and search at the time it happens. The police use these powers to help make the local community safer by disrupting crime - public co-operation is an essential part of that.


Community Complaints Trigger

Northumbria Police actively seek out to improve the service that the public receive whenever they come into contact with police officers or staff. This also applies to when a member of the public is subject to stop and search 

We aim to ensure that we carry out each stop and search fairly and effectively , so that the officers are acting upon accurate and timely intelligence and the manner in which they do the stop and search is done so courteously and professionally so that the person being searched is treated with dignity.

We encourage any member of the public to report a complaint should they feel that they have been stopped and searched unfairly of the manner in which it was undertake was not professional.

We also use the Strategic Independent Advisory Group on a quarterly basis to examine a sample of records so that we can be sure they pass independent assessment based on national criteria. We also undertake rigorous internal audits which are reported to Strategic Management Board which is attended by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

We have very low numbers of complaints linked to stop and search. We recognise that the tactic if used inappropriately can lead to tensions in communities so we intend to treat any complaint as a “community trigger”

Once a complaint is recorded linked to a stop and search it would be brought to the attention of the Area Commander who has responsibility for that policing area

The Strategic Lead for Stop and Search would also be informed and would , on consultation with the complainant , bring the issues to the next Strategic Independent Advisory Board for consideration of any wider community issues.

Community and youth engagement

Why is community and youth engagement important to us?

Community and youth engagement is an important activity for Northumbria Police and is embedded in the work of all local policing. 

Local policing teams have officers whose main role is dedicated to engaging with young people and our community engagement officers work closely with a number of groups across the county.

Youth engagement specifically in relation to stop and search takes two distinct themes: rights and responsibilities; trust and confidence.

Northumbria Police will continue to build on the improvements already made and work with our communities and stakeholders to increase the effectiveness of stop and search, improve public confidence, improve the quality of the encounter and ensure stop and search continues to protect you.

We will comply with the Government’s ‘Best Use of Stop and Search scheme’ by:

  • Giving members of the public the opportunity to patrol with Northumbria Police officers to observe the work they do

  • Introducing a community complaints trigger

  • Increasing transparency by recording all outcomes of stop and search and whether there is a connection between the grounds for the search and the outcome

  • Continuing to publish these records and statistics on the internet

Community Monitoring

The involvement and empowerment of Northumbria communities is essential to the success of policing the county, and a key component is local monitoring of stop and search activity.

At a local level, stop and search is monitored by Independent community or strategic advisory groups (IAGs / SIAGS).

The role of these groups is to:-

  • Hold their police to account

  • Scrutinise the operational use of stop and search

  • Provide local communities with a voice into their local police to communicate their experiences of street encounters 

Public consultation and feedback 

Northumbria Police carry out a number of public consultation activities to gauge public confidence in the use of stop and search within the force area, including: 

  • Contacting over 600 members of the public by telephone

  • A range of face-to-face sessions with youth groups across the force area

  • The launch of an online survey enabling anyone to tell us about their experience of stop and search. 

Telephone survey 

Members of the public were contacted at random by telephone as part of our existing Safer Communities Survey which is conducted on behalf of the police and local councils. Results from the 649 participants show that: 

  • 91% are aware that the police have the power to stop and search people.

  • 70% thought the use of stop and search was about right, with 29% saying it was not used enough, and 2% saying it was used too much.

  • 85% would not know their rights if they were stopped and searched.

  • 97% agreed that stop and search is used fairly by Northumbria Police.

  • 82% agreed that stop and search makes their neighbourhood safer.

 

Face-to-face consultation

Face-to face session were carried out with a range of young people including Space2 (Newcastle), Northumbria University, Fire Service Cadets and the MESMAC North East (LGBT support agency). To date, around 50 young people have taken part, with further sessions planned. 

Sessions included stop and search scenario videos, a short legislation input and a number of body worn videos of genuine stop and searches conducted by officers. A self-completion survey was also completed to capture the views of participants before and after the sessions.

Key points from the sessions include:

  • An honest open debate on what constituted a good and bad stop and search after viewing footage.

  • A high awareness of police stop and search powers and a good understanding of the need for it.

  • Most thought the use of stop and search was about right or not used enough in their neighbourhood.

  • Most agreed that stop and search is used fairly and makes their neighbourhood safer.

  • Most said they understood their rights following the session. 

Of those who had experience of being stopped and searched:

  • All agreed that the officer was justified in carrying out a stop and search.

  • Most agreed that officers explained what they were doing and treated them with fairness and respect

  • A few could not recall the officer giving their details (name, station etc.)

  • Most thought the area where they were stopped and searched was not private.

  • Views were mixed as to whether they were offered a copy of the stop and search form.

  • Most received information about how to complain about the stop and search.

  • No one was dissatisfied with their stop and search experience.

 

Your feedback

Your feedback

Your feedback is important  and you have a right to complain

Northumbria Police has voluntarily signed up to the Best Use of Stop & Search Scheme. We are committed to listening to feedback from communities and ensuring that when we use this power it is justified, people are provided with good information and we treat everyone with dignity and respect.

If you are unhappy with how you were treated, you can complain. You can also complain if you feel you were treated differently because of your race, age, sexuality, gender, disability, religion or faith.

It will help if you keep the form that the police gave you.

Northumbria Police receive very low numbers of complaints linked to Stop & Search, but does recognise that if used inappropriately, Stop & Search can lead to tensions in communities. Every complaint therefore will be treated as a "community trigger", and will be reviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Scrutiny Panel.

Once a complaint linked to a Stop & Search is recorded, it will be brought to the attention of the Area Commander with responsibility for that policing area. The Strategic Lead for Stop & Search would also be informed and would, on consultation with the complainant, bring the issues to the next Strategic Independent Advisory Board for consideration of any wider community issues.

The conclusion of the community trigger, including any learning and development will be communicated back to the community using our well-established forums.

Stop and Search Annual Report 2017/2018

Statistics and data

 

Stop & Search panel summary minutes

Up Coming Stop & Search Scrutiny Sessions

15th January 2019 – Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel, African community group, Cruddas Park, Newcastle.

4th February 2019 – Strategic Independent Advisory Group, Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel, Police Headquarters, Middle Engine Lane.

March 2019 – Northumbria University Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel (date to be confirmed)

 

21/11/2018 – Northumbria University Stop & search Scrutiny Panel

Group:                  Northumbria University Social Sciences Department Students

Time / Date:       1400 hrs 21st November 2018

Location:             The Lipman Building, Northumbria University

Attendees:         Sgt 1633 Nichol, Pamela Allenson (Lecturer), Prof Michael Rowe, 20 students.

Background:     

The session plans to provide the students with :-

  • This is the second session with Northumbria University and is planned to build on the work conducted in first session in relation to perceptions & knowledge of stop & search powers.
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between 30/7/18 and 23/9/18
  • Discussion about views & concerns

UPDATE

Twenty students (2nd and 3rd year) from the Social Sciences Department attended the session.

The session started with a quick reminder in relation to stop and search powers available to the police and the requirements that officers must fulfil when exercising these powers.

The group scrutinised 14 real world search records.  Of the 14 records reviewed there were 4 that those present identified, what they believed were issues with the grounds recorded;

  • SRN 1017733 – comments were made around the grounds stating there was a “suggestion” that the individual was in possession of drugs.  The students felt this was insufficient grounds recorded believing that further information was required.
  • SRN 1444150 – the timeline of events given was unclear as to when information was received and when the search was conducted.  Details recorded showed the search as happening prior to the information reaching the officer which the students felt had a clear impact on the validity of the search.
  • SRN 820657 – The students felt that insufficient grounds were recorded.  They expressed some frustrations as the OIC should have mentioned information in connection with previous search (also included on the list available) which was conducted with acceptable grounds and property searched for was found in almost identical circumstances.
  • SRN 1446624 – Grounds for search recorded was based on smell of cannabis in a vehicle.  Students felt this was insufficient grounds.  This search was linked to another individual also searched during the same incident (included on the list available) during which far greater information was included in the grounds and the search was successful.  If this information had been included, they felt that this search would have also been conducted with sufficient grounds.

We discussed at some length “anonymous callers” and how reliable that can be when developing the grounds to search.  The students also expressed quite strong opinion that if the information provided to officers was in relation to firearms that the threshold for the grounds to be reasonable should be lower such was the level of threat caused.

15/10/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group: Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date: 1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 15th October 2018

Location: Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees: Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt 1665 Michelle Miller, Ranjana Bell (SIAG Chair), Zaf Iqbal (SIAG)Bill McDonald (SIAG)

The members of the Northumbria Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane prior to the formal SIAG meeting. 

The group were presented with details of the Force's stop & search review for the period 30/07/2018 to 23/09/2018. There were 430 stop  & searches recorded with 29 relating to BME subjects. 

The group were given access to all 29 searches for BME subjects (with personal details redacted) & reviewed 8 records during the session selected by the group, focusing on the grounds recorded.

6 searches were judged to be justified from the grounds recorded (SRNs 385390, 218085, 143901, 1442721, 589464, 798602). 

1 search was judged to be a very good example (srn 1154581). 

1 search were judged to have sufficient grounds recorded on the records (srn 144150). In the search has been discussed with the officer and additional training has been given. 

*****************************************************************

Scrutiny work in relation to young black male communities

As a result of continuous community engagement, Supt Milner and Sgt Nichol met with Sirak Berhe on 17th July 2018 at the Westgate Road Police Office. The meeting was held in relation to the current scrutiny process being conducted in to the legitimacy and proportionality of use of Stop and Search powers by Northumbria Police and the need to improve our contact with young black male communities within the North East as part of the process.

Sirak Berhe runs a number of organisations which support young black male refugee and asylum seeker communities from a number of African nationalities (such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea) who are now living in the North East.

During the meeting Supt Milner highlighted the importance for Northumbria Police as an organisation to continue to try and access more young black males in the area to fully understand the impact that the use of stop and search powers can have on these communities. Sirak agreed with this and went further to say that it would also help to educate the males that he is involved with in terms of the law, how society works in this area and (almost as importantly) how they will be treat by the Police. He identified that the experience these communities will have had with Police in their home countries will have been greatly different potentially leading to fear and mistrust, he therefore believed that this engagement would help to break down some barriers.

The meeting concluded with an agreement between Sirak and Supt Milner that regular scrutiny events would be held in future with members of the young black male communities that Sirak works with, with his support.

 

Northumbria Police are currently working together with Sirak Berhe and his various organisations, arranging scrutiny events to better understand the impact of Stop and Search on these communities.

10/10/2018 - Black African Community Stop & Search Consultation

Group: Black African Community Stop & Search Consultation

Time / Date: 1530 hrs 10th October 2018

Location: Community hub, Unit 5, Cruddas Park Shopping Centre, Newcastle.

Attendees: Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt 1665 Michelle Miller, PC 2832 David Burton, Sirak Berhe Hagos, 9 community members.

Supt. Milner opened the sessions with an update about his role as the Northumbria Police force lead for Stop & Search. Discussion took place about the current picture of Stop & Search nationally and within the Northumbria Police force area. Supt. Milner noted the published statistics about the disparity between stop & search rates for white and non-white subjects, and particularly young black males.  

Supt. Milner presented information on the rise of knife related crime nationally & the links to the use of stop & search powers, noting that there had been a dramatic decline in the number of searches conducted.

Discussion took place with representatives of the 10 African community groups represented to work with Northumbria Police to scrutinise stop & search records in order to reassure the communities about the use of the power.  There was broad appetite to assist and to recruit young people from the community to work the Northumbria Police on the subject.

The scrutiny process was explained to the group, with samples of material to be used, an explanation of the legislation, the use of stop & search, local recording practices and Northumbria Police’s scrutiny and audit process.  The use of body worn video was also explained.

The group were shown an example of a stop & search, captured on body worn video and asked for feedback.  The process was welcomed as an engaging means of providing reassurance to the public & for genuine scrutiny.

The group was asked to discuss the session and the vision for stop & search scrutiny with their communities, particularly young people, and for a further meeting to be held to progress to scrutiny panels.

Further meeting planned for 23rd October to discuss the feedback for the community was planned but cancelled by the group.

17/07/2018 - Newcastle Youth Council

Group:                  Newcastle Youth Council

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1930 hrs 17th July 2018

Location:             Newcastle Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Louise Cameron (Newcastle City Council), 7 attendee.

Background:      Introduction to Stop & Search with the group, highlighting the opportunity for young people to scrutinise the Stop & Search work undertaken by Northumbria Police.                        

The session plans to provide the students with :-

  • This is the first session with Newcastle Youth Council so it focused on perceptions & knowledge of stop & search then viewing sample videos & search records prior to future scrutiny groups
  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel).

 

UPDATE

The group welcomed the opportunity to participate in the scrutiny of Stop & Search records from Northumbria Police. The importance of independent scrutiny, particularly by young people was clearly understood and appreciated.

The participants showed a good level of knowledge & understanding about their rights and were happy to express their views & opinions. 

The group looked into 2 scenario videos & 2 live searches. The group were positive about the use of body worn video & suggested this should be available to all officers & a requirement of stop & search. One of the live searches sparked debate about the use of force and at what point force should cease (removal of handcuffs) when a violent person becomes complaint. 

The group indicated that the searches looked at did not cause any concern and adhered to the requirements.

The group indicated a willingness to assist with scrutiny of stop and search forms in the future & are particularly interested in looking into the stops for young people & those who are disabled. The impact of stop & search on young people is an area for future development.

The date for the first live scrutiny sessions will be agreed in due course.

22/05/2018 - Northumbria University Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel

Group:               Northumbria University Social Sciences Department Students

Time / Date:       1000 hrs 22nd May 2018

Location:             The Lipman Building, Northumbria University

Attendees:         Supt 7563 Milner, Sgt 1633 Nichol,PC 2832 Burton, Seema Patel (Senior Lecturer), 17 students.

Background:  Northumbria University was approach in March 2018 to assist in forming a regular Stop & Search Scrutiny Group to review stop & search records at least twice per academic year. Interest was shown from around 20 students from criminology & social science subjects. The University agreed to select those to be involved in the project, which will run for the duration of their studies (next 2 years). Another cohort will be added to the body of students involved in the next academic year.    

 

The session plans to provide the students with :-

  • This is the first session with Northumbria University so is planned to focus on perceptions & knowledge of stop & search then viewing sample videos & search records prior to future scrutiny groups
  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between 12/2/18 and 8/4/18
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel).

 

UPDATE

17 students from the Social Sciences Department, at varying stages of their studies, attended the session.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights.  

The students were neutral / positive about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were used very  occasionally. The majority of the students suggested that the Police (police in general, not specific to Northumbria Police) used stop & search to find out if people were carrying weapons, drugs, and other restricted items e.g. guns a. Some were surprised to hear how the number of searches conducted have fallen in recent years. Most were not aware of their rights if stopped.

The group scrutinised 7 real world search records.  They found the information recorded on some of the forms to be limited and needed more detail to show that the correct grounds existed.  In one case the grounds for a search recorded by the officer (smell of cannabis) was not sufficient grounds and could have been explained better. 

Officer safety was raised and the use of protective gloves.

The group indicated a willingness to assist with scrutiny of stop and search forms in the future & were grateful that the police publish stop & search data which they would review.

05/03/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group: Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date: 1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 5th March 2018

Location: Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees: Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt 1633 Nichol, Ranjana Bell (SIAG Chair), Zaf Iqbal (SIAG)

The members of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane. This was to be undertaken prior to the scheduled SIAG meeting.

Sgt Nichol gave a brief overview of the stop and search records for the 8 week period from 8/12/2017 to 11/2/2018 including 43 searches conducted on non-white subjects across the force. It was agreed that the SIAG would have the opportunity to scrutinise any search of for a BME subject (it was suggested that every search record should be scrutinised by the group but this was deemed to be unrealistic given the time commitment). Al searches were checked for any available body worn video footage which would be made available to the group upon request.

The SIAG members picked 8 records to check from the list or 43 records made available. A list of 43 reference numbers was presented. These references did not indicate ethnicity, self-classification, name, gender or the area of the force the search was conducted in.

The live stop & search record for each of the 8 selected for scrutiny was reviewed by the group. In each case the GOWISELY aspects of each search record were checked and all were found to be compliant.

In 6 searches the records were linked to police incident logs. These records were also checked to ensure there were no inconsistencies in the information recorded in the stop & search record.

The groups raised concerns with regards to the grounds recorded on 4 records due to lack of detail however upon reviewing attached incident logs they were satisfied that the grounds did exist albeit that they could have been recorded better.

 

The group did not request to view any of the accompanying body worn videos for the searches checked. It was felt that from previous checks made that officers acted in a professional manner.

25/01/2018 - ACANE (African Community Action North East), Byker, Newcastle

Group:                  African Community Advice North East (ACANE)

Time / Date:       1700 hrs 25th January 2018

Location:             ACANE, 1 Raby Cross, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Gaby Kitoko (ACANE), 5 young people

Background:      Charity based in the Byker Wall Estate of Newcastle providing support and advice to support the settlement of asylum seekers and refugees from the African continent, who have been dispersed to the North East region and Tyneside, in particular, and to actively promote their integration with the host community so that they can lead full and active lives, and participate in and contribute to the community on an equal basis. The group has a flourishing youth community & provides activities for them.

The session plans to provide ACANE with :-

  • This is the first session with ACANE so is planned to focus on perceptions & knowledge of stop & search then viewing sample videos & search records prior to future scrutiny groups
  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel).

UPDATE

7 young people (mixed age group from 14 years to 24 years), attended the session.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights. The participants had a neutral or positive opinion about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were exercised rarely or occasionally. Most stated that the Police used stop & search to find out if people were carrying ‘things’ (weapons, restricted items or drugs). Most were not aware of their rights if stopped. One person commented that the Police stopped and searched a disproportionate number of black males, but qualified this comment making reference to the media & Metropolitan Police.

The group scrutinised 4 real world search. They found the information recorded some of the forms difficult to read and understand, it was felt that in one case the grounds for a search recorded by the officer (smell of cannabis) was not sufficient grounds and could have been explained better. 

Body worn video footage of each search was viewed. In one search having seen the video, it was felt that the extent of the search was not supported by the grounds provided.

It was noted that officers were providing lots of information to the subjects but that there was a risk that some people may having difficulty in understanding this information (language barrier, mental health issues, substance abuse).

Officer safety was raised and the use of protective gloves.

At the conclusion of the session the group revisited the questionnaire and views about Northumbria Police’s use of Stop & Search were more positive than before the session.

The group indicated a willingness to assist with scrutiny of stop and search forms in the future & were grateful that the police publish stop & search data which they would review.

08/01/2018- SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group:              Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:      1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 8th January 2018

Location:            Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees:         Supt. Paul Milner, PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 1633 Nichol, Ranjana Bell (SIAG Chair), Zaf Iqbal (SIAG)

The members of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane. This was to be undertaken prior to the scheduled SIAG meeting.    

PC 2832 Burton, Central Area Command Communities Engagement Team a brief overview of the stop and search records for the 8 week period from 23/10/2017 to 17/12/2017 including 44 searches conducted on non-white subjects across the force. It was agreed that the SIAG would have the opportunity to scrutinise any search of for a BME subject (it was suggested that every search record should be scrutinised by the group but this was deemed to be unrealistic given the time commitment). Al searches were checked for any available body worn video footage which would be made available to the group upon request.

The SIAG members picked 6 records to check from the list or 44 records made available. A list of 44 reference numbers was presented. These references did not indicate ethnicity, self-classification, name, gender or the area of the force the search was conducted in.

The live stop & search record for each of the 6 selected for scrutiny was reviewed by the group. In each case the GOWISELY aspects of each search record were checked and all were found to be compliant. 

The groups raised concerns with 5 records relating to issues with the recorded names for subject, the details fo the self-classification recorded and the details of the Home Office classifications for the subject and ethnicity which were felt to be outdated and needed to be reviewed.

In 5 searches the records were linked to police incident logs. These records were also checked to ensure there were no inconsistencies in the information recorded in the stop & search record.

At the conclusion of the session discussion took place about the setting up of a stand alone stop & search scrutiny panel or a number of permanent groups across the 3 area commands in the force. It was felt that the desire of Northumbria Police to have every record for a BME subject scrutinised was unrealistic for the SIAG.

11/09/2017- SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group:              Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:      1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 11th September 2017

Location:            Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees:         Supt. Paul Milner, PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, SIAG members

The members of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane. This was to be undertaken prior to the scheduled SIAG meeting.    

PC 2832 Burton, Central Area Command Communities Engagement Team, provided a briefing about the work with young people in the area command to provide them with opportunities to review the way in which Northumbria Police use Stop & Search powers and to provide their feedback following review of search records and body worn footage of searches. The recent visit of 2 visiting cohorts from Cheshire & Durham Constabularies following the previous attendance of the HMIC to the scrutiny panel was welcomed.

An information pack was provided including :-

A legislation guide for Stop & Search (S1 PACE 1984)

Information about best practice when searching

Search records for 15 searches and accompanying body worn video for review. These records related to the use of the new digital records used by officers from their phablet mobile devices.

The group was reminded of the powers available to officers and the use of GOWISELY (minimum standard of information required to be given to the subject of the search) i.e. :-

  • Grounds for search
  • Object of search
  • Warrant card (shown if not in uniform)
  • Identity of the officer conducting the search
  • Station the officer works at
  • Entitlement to a copy of the search record
  • Legal power used for the search
  • You are detained for the search

The panel viewed 6 stop and search records during the session and paid particular attention to the grounds for search recorded on the records. In 2 cases it was deemed that the grounds for search were out not sufficient on the form but in both cases upon checking the police incident and related records it was found that there were sufficient grounds. It was suggested that further advice should be provided to officers to ensure that all relevant information is correctly recorded on the actual search record rather than associated systems as these would not be provided to the subject of the search if requested.

The decision of Northumbria Police to move to a digital recording system for stop & search records rather than the hand written records was welcomed as the information was now readable (illegible writing on forms has been a long standing issue). The digital solution also enabled additional safeguards to be put in place by the force to require specific information to be recorded prior to the officer moving on through the recording process.

The group did not request to view any of the accompanying body worn videos for the searches checked. It was felt that from previous checks made that officers acted in a professional manner. However, the use of body worn video was discussed and it was suggested that every operational uniformed officer should wear body worn video as a matter of policy in order to protect the officer and subject of the search. It was felt that this was a positive step by Northumbria Police and allowed for further scrutiny and promoted good practice by officers.

It was decided by the group that further scrutiny sessions would be conducted prior to every SIAG meeting and that scrutiny of body worn video footage for searches would not be routinely undertaken.

17/08/2017- Central Area Command Police Cadets

Group:                Central Area Command Police Cadets

Time / Date:      1000 hrs to 1200 hrs 17th August 2017

Location:            Newcastle West Police Office, West Road, Newcastle

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 535 Metcalfe, Chief Supt. Spraggon (Durham Constabulary), Insp. Stockdale (Durham Constabulary), David Dove (Durham Constabulary)

Background:      The Northumbria Police cadets participated in the initial pilot of the stop & search scrutiny panel in March 2016 and were asked to participate in future session when new cohorts of recruits were available.

This session was planned in order to allow visiting officers from Durham Constabulary to witness the process and was undertaken in the same manner with other groups.

 The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An reminder of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between June 2017 & July 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

A group of 10 new Police Cadets recruits attended the session with 2 cadets in their second year of the scheme, although these 2 participants had not previously been involved in the scrutiny sessions.

The group completed an initial questionnaire about their perceptions of the police use of Stop & Search powers. One participant expressed the view that the use of the power was in the main targeted towards minorities & used disproportionately. All other participants responded that they felt the power was used frequently by Northumbria Police but was not overused. There were varied responses as to the purpose of the use of the power including to apprehend those carrying drugs, weapons and to deter criminal activity.

The group completed 3 searches during the sessions, discussing in detail the information recorded on each form and the corresponding body worn video footage of the search. All searches were deemed to be proportionate and justified from the information provided.

It was felt by all in the group that the use of body won video to record searches was positive and protected both the subject of the search from officers ‘over stepping the mark’ and the officers from false allegations.

The group were particularly complimentary of the officers involved in a search in Berwick which showed the officers understanding and responding to the subjects concerns of privacy from passers-by and potentially people known to him which may have caused embarrassment.  The officer proportionate reaction to the discovery of used drugs needles was also complimented.

The visiting officers from Durham Constabulary explained to the cadets the systems currently in place for recording stop & searches and the mandatory use of body worn video in the force. This was welcomed by the group.

11/07/2017- Gateshead Youth Assembly (GYA)

Group:               Gateshead Youth Assembly (GYA)

Time / Date:      1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 11th July 2017

Location:            Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, 3 visiting officers from Cheshire, representative of Cheshire IAG (Independent Advisory Group) , Mayor of Gateshead, 16 young people from Gateshead Youth Assembly.

Background:      The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly participated for the first time in March 2017.  The second panel due to take place on 25th May 2017 was postponed following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack 3 days prior.

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between March 2017 & July 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

 

This session was attended by a visiting cohort of officers from Cheshire Police and the Cheshire Independent Advisory Group following positive comments from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary about the panels.  The Mayor of Gateshead and a number of other officers attended part of the panel.

The young people from the GYA represented a number of Gateshead Schools, were of a variety of ages, gender & ethnicity.

Due to the number of external visitors to the session the group was provided with an overview of police Stop & Search powers including the use of GOWISLEY and local recording procedures. This overview gave the young people the opportunity to ask questions about their rights when stopped by the police e.g. the question about having to provide names, date of birth and address was raised and discussed. It was confirmed that you were not legally required to provide these details for the purposed of a Stop & Search.

The group was provided with access to 15 stop & searches which were accompanied with body worn video footage alongside the stop & search record as the group had highlighted in their initial session that there was a preference for searches captured on video as it allowed further scrutiny of the conduct of the search as well as compliance with the powers.

The group reviewed 6 searches during the session, including the stop & search records and accompanying video. In all cases the panel agreed that each search was compliant from the details provided on the record, although in one case having viewed the video it was deemed appropriate that further details should have been recorded on the record to support the grounds further (this search occurred in the public waiting area of a hospital).

The group viewed all 6 body worn videos and were complimentary of the conduct of the officers in all videos, commenting that the behaviour of several of those searched presented the officers with a difficult situation.

The group did note that in most cases officers exposed themselves and subject to potential risk by not wearing protective gloves during searches and this should be fed back to all officers.

The group expressed their thanks to the visitors from Cheshire for travelling so far to witness the session.

25/05/2017- Gateshead Youth Assembly (GYA)

Group:                Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:      1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 25th May 2017

Location:            Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, visiting officers from Cheshire.

Background:      The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April 2017 and participated for the first time in March 2017.  

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between March 2017 & May 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

 

UPDATE

Due to the terrorist attack in Manchester on 22nd May 2017 this sessions was postponed. Expected to be conducted within 8 weeks.

14/03/2017- Gateshead Youth Assembly (GYA)

Group:               Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 14th March 2017

Location:             Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:          PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, 10 young people from the youth assembly

Background: The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April but was unable to put time aside in a very busy schedule until July.

The session plans to provide the assembly with:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel).

 

UPDATE

10 participants aged 14 to 16 years, a mix of gender, one BME participant.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights. The majority of respondents were positive about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were exercised rarely or occasionally. Most stated that the powers were used to keep communities safe and to find out if people were carrying weapons or restricted items. The majority were not aware of their rights if stopped. Most either tended to agree or strongly agreed that the power was used fairly by Northumbria Police & it made neighbourhoods safer.

Stop & Search powers were explained & discussed, including the information required to be provided and recorded by searching officers (GOWISLEY). 2 scenario videos were shown to the group allowing them to see correct stop and search procedures in practice. These scenarios included examples of a BME youth being stopped and the officer dealing with a verbal confrontation (negative search) & a male officer searching the outer jacket pockets of a female (positive search). In both cases the videos sparked discussion around procedures, best practice & officer safety. 

The group selected 4 stop and real world searches to check, from a batch of 9 with body worn video footage available. The group was provided with a copy of the stop & search form for each search & checked each form for the grounds, object, officer details, officer station, paying particular attention to the grounds for the search recorded by the officer. They checked these against the video footage of the officer conducting the searches.

In all cases the group felt that the forms recorded sufficient information for the searches to be lawful, each search was conducted in a manner unlikely to demean the subject.

In 2 cases discussion took place about the extent of searches in public places i.e. did each search go beyond jacket, outer clothing & gloves. In one search, conducted around 2am in a wooded area off a country road it was deemed that was sufficient to be out of public view for a male’s hat to be removed. The other took place in a hospital A&E department in the middle of the night and showed the subject trying to remove various items of clothing which was stopped by the officer searching.

The participants were concerned to see that in all cases officers failed to wear protective gloves when searching which would protect the officers from exposure to infections & also for the safety of the subject from cross infection from officers.  The group felt that this was a very important issue that needed to be fed back to all police officers.

The group was informed about updated stop & search training that will be given to all police officers in Northumbria in the coming months.

The group was impressed with the use of body worn videos and found it helpful to understand some of issues faced by officers when dealing with non-compliant subject or vulnerable people. It was hoped that this technology will be made available to all operational officers in the near future.

The participants expressed a desire to participate in further panels & appreciated the value in independent scrutiny, especially by young people.

The group was happy to tweet an image of them conducting the sessions via @GBYOC.

13/03/2017- West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES)

Group:                  West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES)

Time / Date:       1600 hrs 13th March 2017

Location:             4 Graingerville South, West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Lucy Ward (Staff), 7 young people 

Background: Service offering drop-ins for young people to provide access to the sexual health service with staff also able to talk to about drugs and alcohol, mental health, employment, young people’s rights, debts and benefits and get help with reading and writing.

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel). 


UPDATE

7 young people (mixed age group from 14 years to 24 years), attended the session.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights. The participants had a neutral or positive opinion about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were exercised rarely or occasionally. Most stated that the Police used stop & search to find out if people were carrying ‘things’ (weapons, restricted items or drugs). Most were not aware of their rights if stopped. One person commented that the Police stopped and searched a disproportionate number of black males, but qualified this comment making reference to the media & Metropolitan Police.

The group scrutinised 4 real world search. They found the information recorded some of the forms difficult to read and understand, it was felt that in one case the grounds for a search recorded by the officer (smell of cannabis) was not sufficient grounds and could have been explained better. 

Body worn video footage of each search was viewed. In one search having seen the video, it was felt that the extent of the search was not supported by the grounds provided.

It was noted that officers were providing lots of information to the subjects but that there was a risk that some people may having difficulty in understanding this information (language barrier, mental health issues, substance abuse).

Officer safety was raised and the use of protective gloves.

At the conclusion of the session the group revisited the questionnaire and views about Northumbria Police’s use of Stop & Search were more positive than before the session.

The group indicated a willingness to assist with scrutiny of stop and search forms in the future & were grateful that the police publish stop & search data which they would review.

06/03/2017- SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group:                  Northumbria Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:       1230 hrs – 1330 hrs 6th March 2017

Location:             Middle Engine Lane Police Station, North Tyneside.

Attendees:         T. Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt Gary Querry, PC David Burton, 10 x SIAG members, Garry Armstrong (HMIC)

 
Background: The SIAG (Strategic Independent Advisory Group) considers force-wide strategy and policy. Its aims are to improve public confidence and openness between Northumbria Police and the communities it serves by seeking advice from all sections of the community, minority and majority groups, who have specific skills, abilities, knowledge or awareness of issues affecting those communities with the intention of providing a fair and equitable delivery of services to all.

 

The session plans to provide:

  • Brief input about GOWISELY for attendees.
  • Opportunity to view a sample of stop & searches by Northumbria Police officers captured on body worn video.
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted by Northumbria Police officers.

 

UPDATE

Session opened by Supt. Milner who provided a brief update on the forthcoming roll out of the Stop & Search recording app for Northumbria officers which will be added to every operational officer’s phablet device. This app will improve the quality of the Stop & Search records (rather than paper based hand written forms), other benefits include GPS capabilities, photographs of subjects being available to officers. The roll out is expected to begin mid April 2017.

The planned roll out of Stop & Search training for all officers across the force using a College of Policing approved package is expected to begin in April, taking around 5 weeks to reach all officers.

The Chair of the SIAG commented that the group were already involved with Stop & Search training for new recruits in relation to unconscious bias.

The panel were provided with a brief overview of GOWISELY and police powers for Stop & Search prior to watching 3 separate body worn videos of real life searches conducted recently. A copy of the stop & search form submitted by the searching officer was provided.

Panel members raised issues & concerns about: 

  • Difficulty in reading the information submitted on the forms by officers.
  • How language difficulties are addressed (not an issue with any of the searches shown).
  • Potential difficulties with subjects from different cultures not aware of stop & search (e.g. foreign nationals).
  • Officer safety issues were highlighted in the conduct of 2 searches, a training issue.
  • Lack of use of protective gloves by officers.
  • In one search lack of grounds for search was identified.
  • The retention period for body worn video footage of searches.
  • Supervisors’ checks made & recorded on forms. 

A further sample of 10 Stop & Search forms was made available to panel members to view during the session. The only comment made about the quality of these forms was regarding inconsistencies with the quantity of information provided on forms about descriptions of the subject of the search.

The group have requested that in the next session more forms are made available & no body worn video examples.

10/02/2017- Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre

Group:                  Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre

Time / Date:       12.00 hrs  10th February 2017

Location:             Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, Suleman Mohammed, Mumtaz Khan &  members of new Mosque Committee        

Background: Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre has recently undergone a change in the committee overseeing the running of the mosque on behalf of the Newcastle Pakistani Muslim Association. A meeting was held with members of the new committee to discuss future community engagement with the mosque congregation and their families.

 

During the meeting discussion took place about the Police use of stop & search but this was not seen to be an issue which had a detrimental effect on the local community. An opportunity to participate in scrutiny of this area of police work will be considered by the committee if a group of willing participants from the congregations younger worshippers can be found.  It was felt by Mr Khan that the new committee would be working more with the police & local community groups so there is likely to be a good response to participating.

 UPDATE

Awaiting a response from the Mosque. Delayed due to ongoing legal issues 

20/01/2017- ACANE (African Community Advice North East)

Group:                  ACANE (African Community Advice North East)

Time / Date:       10.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs  20th January 2017

Location:             ACANE, Raby Cross, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, Vadood Aghajani, 6 residents

Background: ACANE is a lottery funded community project based in the Byker area of Newcastle, assisting the settlement and integration of asylum seekers & refugees from Africa in Newcastle.  The group provides a range of services and facilities to the local community (not restricted to the Black African community) and is a engagement link between Police and the community.

The session plans to provide: 

  • Discussion about relationships between Black African community & Police
  • Local Policing concerns
  • Discussion about Police use of stop & search (local & national)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted                          

The session focused on local community issues & the police response to those concerns including discussion about stop & search. Questions were raised about the legalities of Police encounters with members of the public (stop & search, encounters & traffic matters). Discussion and a detailed overview of the powers took place about the powers of stop & search (people and vehicles) as there was clear misunderstanding amongst attendees about the powers police have in the UK. 

When asked attendees commented that there were no issues or concerns amongst the young black African community in the Byker area of Newcastle about Police use of Stop & Search. As parents and a close community group they felt that they would be aware of emerging problems from their children. The group were keen to bring a group of willing young people from the community together over the Easter school holiday period  to speak to Police about stop & search and were particularly interested in their rights being explained to them should they be stopped by Police (GOWISELY information).

 Due to time constraints no stop & search forms were checked on this occasion.

 

UPDATE

Awaiting confirmation of a date for a scrutiny panel & youth engagement panel.

09/01/2017- SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

Group:                  Northumbria Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:       9th January 2017

Location:             Middle Engine Lane Police Station, North Tyneside.

Attendees:         T. Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt Gary Querry, PC David Burton, SIAG members

Background: The SIAG (Strategic Independent Advisory Group)considers force-wide strategy and policy. Its aims are to improve public confidence and openness between Northumbria Police and the communities it serves by seeking advice from all sections of the community, minority and majority groups, who have specific skills, abilities, knowledge or awareness of issues affecting those communities with the intention of providing a fair and equitable delivery of services to all.

The session plans to provide: 

  • Brief input about GOWISELY for attendees.
  • Opportunity to view a sample of stop & searches by Northumbria Police officers captured on body worn video.
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted by Northumbria Police officers. 

UPDATE

03/01/2017 SIAG meeting cancelled

2016 Minutes

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Group:                  Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 12th July 2016

Location:             Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Valerie Ender, around 20 young people from the youth assembly

Background: The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April but was unable to put time aside in a very busy schedule until July. 

The session plans to provide the assembly with:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel). 


UPDATE
 

Unfortunately due to illness the Gateshead Youth Assembly was unable to meet as arranged to hold this event. The assembly organisers are keen to participate in this work in the future when time can be found.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly have out time aside between 1700 hrs & 1900 hrs Tuesday 14th March 2017 to run a scrutiny panel at Gateshead Civic Centre.

It is hoped that following an initial panel this can become a regular (quarterly) event at the assembly.

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Group:                  Streetwise Project

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 18th May 2016

Location:             Space 2, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         A. Sgt 2832 Burton, PC 17 MacGregor, 12 participants.

Background: Streetwise, a nationally awarded charity, has been running since 1991 offering a range of counselling & advice services for young people aged 11 to 25 and plays a vital role in making young people feel safe in Newcastle City Centre. The project has worked with Northumbria Police & the local authority on many occasions to provide a young person’s perspective on a range of issues and assisting with planning for events which may impact on young people e.g. protests.  

The session plans to provide:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Question & answer session
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel)
  • Future panel 

The session will be hosted by the Space 2 Youth Pilgrim Street, Newcastle which has large facilities to accommodate a larger group of participants if more wish to get involved.

UPDATE

Panel postponed until 1700 hrs 22/06/2016 due to feedback from the participants that they would not be attending due to impending end of year exams.

UPDATE

Panel cancelled by Police due to clash with another event. Both, Streetwise & Space 2, are keen to participate in a future event when time permits.

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Group:                  Northumbria University

Time / Date:       1000 hrs to 1100 hrs 28th April 2016

Location:             Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         A. Sgt 2832 Burton, PC 17 MacGregor, 4 participants.

Background: Northumbria University Students Union was approached to participate in a Stop & Search panel. Students from the Criminology & Psychology course were canvassed by Dr. Kelly Stockdale and 15 students requested to take part.  Unfortunately, only 4 turned up due to exams being held on the day of the panel.

An information pack was provided to participants including:

  • 3 scenario based searches (used to prompt discussion prior to reviewing live searches)
  • A legislation guide for Stop & Search (S1 PACE 1984)
  • Information about best practice when searching
  • Search records for 6 searches and accompanying body worn video for review 

UPDATE

Participants were asked to complete part 1 of a Stop & Search evaluation prior to starting the session. 

Of the 4 who completed the questionnaire:

  • No-one had a negative view of Northumbria Police.
  • All participants knew that police have stop & search powers however only 2 felt they knew their rights.
  • 3 felt that that stop & search was used occasionally or rarely in their area.
  • Only 1 had a definite view on the use of stop & search making neighbourhoods safer
  • 1 agreed that stop & search was used fairly by Northumbria Police, 3 others had no definite view. 

Stop & search records for the searches were checked by the group with the accompanying body worn video footage for each record.  Participants did not highlight any concerns with the completed forms but concerns were raised.  When viewing the body worn video footage the general feedback was positive with participants being happy with the behaviour of the officers towards members of the public. It was noted that on occasions not all information from GOWISLEY was provided by the officer. 

Participants were very keen to talk about how searches are conducted by officers. A short exercise was conducted where the group were required to conduct searches on each other for concealed items. They found the exercise useful & had a better understanding of the difficulties faced by officers when dealing with non-passive subjects. 

None of the participants had experienced stop searches. 

All 4 participants felt that the use of Body Worn Video was a good idea and that all officers should use them. 

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