Statement on HMICFRS report into disproportionality in stop and search
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today published a report on disproportionality in stop and search and the use of force.
We are committed to doing everything we can in Staffordshire Police to ensure that these powers are used fairly and proportionately to prevent and detect crime and keep people safe.
We have reviewed the practices and processes we have in place and have developed the training officers receive covering the use of force, and for carrying out stop and searches. This includes a focus on enhancing communication skills and personal safety training to de-escalate conflict, and improved use of body-worn video.
Officers have also received training to help understand certain behaviours and attitudes and counter any biases.
We have also reviewed and strengthened the governance and scrutiny around the use of these powers. There is a robust approach in the organisation to reviewing the use of force and stop and searches, with a focus on improving the use of body worn video. The force has quarterly working groups and monthly reporting on stop and searches and use of force, and we are focused on examining any local disparities in the use of these powers to understand the reasons behind this.
Additionally, independent panels, which include representatives from local communities, review body worn footage of stop and search and use of force to address any issues and concerns which are raised and to identify best-practice and good examples. This helps to build and maintain the trust and confidence of local communities.
Alongside this we are committed to ensuring that our workforce better reflects the communities we serve as we know this will lead to better decision making and improve further on our current performance.
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: “I welcome this report which challenges policing to renew its focus on ensuring that the use of force and stop and search powers is fair and effective. It is not good enough that 35 years after the introduction of stop and search, there are still questions about disproportionality in the use of these powers.
“We have taken clear action in Staffordshire Police to act on the recommendations made by HMICFRS and we are making good progress in strengthening our approach to training, governance and scrutiny around the use of force and stop and search and this is reflected in the latest figures.
“We continue to work closely with local people to listen to their views and to seek feedback on our approach to ensure that we maintain the trust and confidence of the diverse communities we serve.”