Number: A 0801
Date Published: 9 September 2020
Version 9 – September 2020

1.0 Summary of Changes

This procedure has been updated on its annual review as follows:

  • Taking account of recording data on the new stop and search app;
  • Taking account of The Stop and Search Review Panel;
  • Within Section 3.5 a link added listing rooms available for more thorough searches;
  • Removal throughout of updated information, such as previous locations for more thorough searches;
  • Throughout Essex Police Public Scrutiny Group replaced by Stop and Search Review Panel;
  • Owner details updated.

2.0 What this Procedure is about

This procedure will explain the process to be undertaken when utilising stop and search powers under any enactment. It will include any legal obligations that officers must consider at the time the stop and search is conducted including the requirement to record any activity that has taken place.

Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.

3.0 Detail of the Procedure

3.1 Stop and Search - Definition

Stop and Search is the practice whereby members of the public are searched by officers when they are suspected of possessing stolen or prohibited articles or offensive weapons, to allay or confirm suspicions about individuals without exercising powers of arrest.

Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 creates the power for a constable to stop and search persons and vehicles, however, there are numerous legislative powers available to a constable to conduct a stop and search procedure. A summary of the main stop and search powers is contained within PACE Code A Annex A. It is absolutely vital that officers are aware of the main stop and search powers available to them within their current role.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with:

  • Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984;
  • Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Codes of Practice A;
  • Code of Practice – Stop and Search under the Terrorism Act 2000

A stop and search may only be carried out where there is a statutory power. Voluntary searches are NO longer permitted.

Section 1 of PACE does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles, offensive weapons or any article listed in sections 8A and 8B of PACE 1984.

3.2 Fair and Effective searches

3.2.1 Fair Use

Essex police believes a fair encounter is a justifiable one, which is applied without prejudice, carried out promptly and with respect. It is recorded, open to scrutiny and supports public confidence.

3.2.2 Effective Use

The primary purpose of stop and search is to enable officers to either allay or confirm their suspicions about an individual without having to arrest the person. Effectiveness must therefore reflect where suspicion has been allayed and an unnecessary arrest, which is more intrusive, has been avoided; or where suspicion has been confirmed and the object is found or a crime is detected.

3.3 Reasonable Grounds to Suspect

3.3.1 Legal Test

Reasonable grounds for suspicion is the legal test which a police officer must satisfy before they can stop and detain individuals or vehicles to search using legal powers. This test must be applied to the particular circumstances in each case and is in two parts:

(i) Firstly, the officer must have formed a genuine suspicion in their own mind that they will find the object for which the search power being exercised allows them to search and;
(ii) Secondly, the suspicion that the object will be found must be reasonable. This means that there must be an objective basis for that suspicion based on facts, information and/or intelligence which are relevant to the likelihood that the object in question will be found, so that a reasonable person would be entitled to reach the same conclusion based on the same facts and information and/or intelligence.

3.3.2 General Information

It is important that before any stop and search power is exercised the officer is prepared to answer the question "Why did you stop me?”. An officer using the powers referred to in this procedure cannot do so unless they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a search will reveal the items sought, except where the search is conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (see A 0802 Procedure – Section 60-60AA).

The search should be the most proportionate method the police officer could use to establish whether the person has such an item.

Reasonable grounds for suspicion depend on the circumstances in each case. There must be an objective basis for that suspicion based on facts, information, and/or intelligence which are relevant to the likelihood of finding an article of a certain kind.

Officers must therefore be able to explain the basis for their suspicion by reference to intelligence or information about, or some specific behaviour by, the person concerned.

For example, unless the police have information or intelligence which provides a description of a person suspected of carrying an article for which there is a power to stop and search, the following cannot be used alone or in combination with each other, or in combination with any other factor, as the reason for stopping and searching that person, including any vehicle which they are driving or being carried in:
(a) A person’s physical appearance with regard, for example, to any of the ‘relevant protected characteristics’ set out in the Equality Act 2010, section 149, which are age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, or the fact that the person is known to have a previous conviction; and
(b) Generalisations or stereotypical images that certain groups or categories of people are more likely to be involved in criminal activity.

Reasonable suspicion may also exist without specific information or intelligence, but on the basis of the behaviour of a person.

For example, if an officer encounters someone on the street at night who is obviously trying to hide something, the officer may (depending on the other surrounding circumstances) base such suspicion on the fact that this kind of behaviour is often linked to stolen or prohibited articles being carried.

An officer who forms the opinion that a person is acting suspiciously or that they appear to be nervous must be able to explain, with reference to specific aspects of the person’s behaviour or conduct which they have observed, why they formed that opinion.

A hunch or instinct which cannot be explained or justified to an objective observer can never amount to reasonable grounds.

However, reasonable suspicion should normally be linked to accurate and current intelligence or information, such as information describing an article being carried, a suspected offender, or a person who has been seen carrying a type of article known to have been stolen recently from premises in the area.

Searches based on accurate and current intelligence or information are more likely to be effective. Targeting searches in a particular area at specified crime problems increases their effectiveness and minimises inconvenience to law-abiding members of the public. It also helps in justifying the use of searches both to those who are searched and to the public. This does not however prevent stop and search powers being exercised in other locations where such powers may be exercised and reasonable suspicion exists.

All police officers must recognise that searches are more likely to be effective, legitimate, and secure public confidence when their reasonable grounds for suspicion are based on a range of objective factors. The overall use of these powers is more likely to be effective when up-to-date and accurate intelligence or information is communicated to officers and they are well-informed about local crime patterns.

Where there is reliable information or intelligence that members of a group or gang habitually carry knives unlawfully or weapons or controlled drugs, and wear a distinctive item of clothing or other means of identification to indicate their membership of the group or gang, that distinctive item of clothing or other means of identification may provide reasonable grounds to stop and search a person.

A police officer may have reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is in innocent possession of a stolen or prohibited article or other item for which the officer is empowered to search. In that case the officer may stop and search the person even though there would be no power of arrest.

An officer who has reasonable grounds for suspicion may detain the person concerned in order to carry out a search. Before carrying out a search the officer may ask questions about the person's behaviour or presence in circumstances which gave rise to the suspicion. As a result of questioning the detained person, the reasonable grounds for suspicion necessary to detain that person may be confirmed or, because of a satisfactory explanation, be eliminated. Questioning may also reveal reasonable grounds to suspect the possession of a different kind of unlawful article from that originally suspected. Reasonable grounds for suspicion however cannot be provided retrospectively by such questioning during a person's detention or by refusal to answer any questions put.

If, as a result of questioning before a search, or other circumstances which come to the attention of the officer, there cease to be reasonable grounds for suspecting that an article is being carried of a kind for which there is a power to stop and search, no search may take place. In the absence of any other lawful power to detain, the person is free to leave at will and must be so informed.

There is no power to stop or detain a person in order to find grounds for a search. Police officers have many encounters with members of the public which do not involve detaining people against their will. If reasonable grounds for suspicion emerge during such an encounter, the officer may search the person, even though no grounds existed when the encounter began. If an officer is detaining someone for the purpose of a search, he or she should inform the person as soon as detention begins.

3.4 Authorisation for Searches within Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994

See A 0802 Procedure - Section 60-60AA

3.5 Conducting the search

Before any search of a detained person or attended vehicle takes place the officer must take reasonable steps, if not in uniform, to show their warrant card to the person to be searched or in charge of the vehicle to be searched and whether or not in uniform, they must inform the person before commencing the search of the following:

  • The grounds on which the search is being made;
  • That they are being detained for the purposes of a search;
  • The officer's name (except in the case of enquiries linked to the investigation of terrorism, or otherwise where the officer reasonably believes that giving his or her name might put him or her in danger, in which case a warrant or other identification number shall be given) and the name of the police station to which the officer is attached;
  • The legal search power which is being exercised;
  • A clear explanation of the object of the search in terms of the article or articles for which there is a power to search;
  • That they are entitled to a copy of the record of the search, if one is made, if they ask within 3 months from the date of the search;
  • If the person searched is arrested a stop and search record must be completed in addition to the record which will form part of the custody record. The person searched will be entitled to a copy of this record within 12 months of the arrest.

The requirements of PACE in respect of these actions before search are summarised by the practical mnemonic for the procedure:

G rounds for search. O bject / purpose of search. W arrant card (if plain clothes or requested). I dentity of officer. S tation to which attached. E ntitlement to a copy of the search record. L egal power used. Y ou are detained for the purposes of a search.

If the person to be searched, or in charge of a vehicle to be searched, does not appear to understand what is being said, or there is any doubt about the person's ability to understand English, the officer must take reasonable steps to bring information regarding the person's rights to his or her attention. If the person is deaf or cannot understand English and is accompanied by someone, then the officer must try to establish whether that person can interpret or otherwise help the officer to give the required information.

Officers are reminded that any search should be conducted with the utmost sensitivity and on the assumption that the individual has no knowledge of police procedures or powers. A thorough explanation of the procedure and the person’s rights and entitlements must be provided verbally. A polite but professional attitude will help to ensure the encounter is positive regardless of the outcome.

The search must be carried out at or near the place where the person or vehicle was first detained.

There is no power to require a person to remove any clothing in public other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves. A search in public of a person's clothing which has not been removed must be restricted to superficial examination of outer garments. This does not, however, prevent an officer from placing his or her hand inside the pockets of the outer clothing, or feeling round the inside of collars, socks and shoes if this is reasonably necessary in the circumstances to look for the object of the search or to remove and examine any item reasonably suspected to be the object of the search.

Where on reasonable grounds it is considered necessary to conduct a more thorough search, this must be done out of public view, for example, at a police station if there is one nearby. Rooms which may be used for more thorough searches are contained in Appendix 1 (use of the room will remove the need for officers to take the DP to custody).

Any search involving the removal of more than an outer coat, jacket, gloves, headgear or footwear, or any other item concealing identity, may only be made by an officer of the same sex as the person searched and may not be made in the presence of anyone of the opposite sex unless the person being searched specifically requests it.

Searches involving the exposure of intimate parts of the body (strip searches) must not be conducted as a routine extension of a less thorough search because nothing was found in the course of the initial search. These searches must be carried out only at a nearby police station in a custody suite.

Officers should be particularly mindful of the following personal characteristics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Cultural background

3.5.1 Age

The Children Act 2004, section 11, requires Chief Police Officers and other specified persons and bodies to ensure that in the discharge of their functions they have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of persons under the age of 18.

Research suggests that up to a quarter of all searches are conducted on children between 10 and 17 years of age. In these instances, a child is searched on the street by a police officer without the presence of a responsible adult. Code A of PACE does not provide any guidance on the treatment of children during stop and search encounters, however, the 2006 ACPO guidance on stop and search offers the following advice;
“Stopping and searching young or vulnerable persons can be particularly intimidating for them. Officers must clearly communicate the grounds for the search using simple and easy to understand language, and check that the person has understood the grounds before continuing with the search”.

It is not uncommon for children under the age of criminal responsibility to be used by older children and adults to carry stolen property, drugs and weapons, and in some cases, firearms, for the criminal benefit of others.

Children under 10 should not be searched unless exceptional circumstances apply and if a search does take place their parent or guardian must be notified as soon as possible.

Stop and search powers allow the police to intervene effectively to break up criminal gangs and groups that use children to further their criminal activities. Whenever a child under 10 is suspected of carrying unlawful items for someone else, or is found in circumstances which suggest that their welfare and safety may be at risk, appropriate action should be taken in accordance with force safeguarding measures under B 1200 Policy - Child Abuse Investigations.

This will be in addition to treating them as a potentially vulnerable or intimidated witness in respect of their status as a witness to the serious criminal offence(s) committed by those using them as couriers.

Safeguarding considerations will also apply to other persons aged under 18 who are stopped and searched under any of the powers to which this code applies, in accordance with the requirement on Chief Officers under the Children Act 2004.

All intelligence obtained from conducting a stop and search should be submitted promptly via a Police Information Report (PIR) on Athena. This intelligence should not be recorded on the stop and search database. This will ensure that intelligence is promptly available for dissemination, especially as this can have a significant impact on both public and officer safety.

All searches of children under the age of 10 years will automatically be sent, by the electronic stop and search recording database, upon saving the record, to the Child Abuse Investigations Team for appropriate safe guarding decisions to be made and action taken where appropriate.

3.5.2 Gender

Officers and staff must remain sensitive to any issues relating to gender that may be encountered whilst conducting a search, particularly one which requires removal of more than outer clothing. Particular sensitivity would be required with the removal of outer garments related to:

  • Items covering the face for example and worn on cultural or religious grounds;
  • The outer clothing of a transgender individual.

3.5.3 Sexual Orientation

Individuals assigned a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) are legally regarded as acquiring that gender and should be dealt with in accordance with the procedures established for people of that particular gender.

Where the individual is not in possession of a GRC but presents themselves as a particular gender they will be searched by a member of the gender they present in, unless they specifically request all or part of the search to be conducted by a member of the opposite gender.

A member of the opposite gender would not be permitted to remain during such a search unless specifically requested by the individual subject of the search. Such occasions must be formally documented and signed by the individual, for example, with a pocket notebook.

3.5.4 Disability

Care should be taken to ensure that the person subject of the search fully understands the process that is to be undertaken. Officers should be aware that they may encounter an individual who has been diagnosed with a condition/s that may affect their behaviour or ability to process the information the officer is trying to convey for example Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or certain other disabilities (see the HR Diversity intranet pages for further information).

In such instances officers should look for an Autism Alert Card or similar identification which will provide useful information in the circumstances. Officers should get in touch with the person's contact or family as soon as possible. Officers must also be mindful to explain who they are and what is happening, using clear and simple language and checking frequently for understanding.

Where conducted in a public place, the stop and search procedure should be performed in a convenient area which is not in full public view and taking account of the person’s needs according to their disability.

3.5.5 Cultural Background

Where the individual subject of the search is wearing headgear or other items associated with their religion or faith, careful thought and consideration must be given before a requirement is made for the item to be removed. It is quite possible the individual will consent to the removal of the article but will insist on a degree of privacy. Where this is the case the officer should consider any suitable nearby location including a police station.

3.6 Requirement to make a Record

3.6.1 Stop and Account

There is no longer a statutory requirement to record stop and account, therefore only stop and search will be recorded using the stop and search recording application. Stop and account should be recorded by way of submission of a Police Information Report (PIR) via Athena if it is deemed necessary to record the information for intelligence purposes.

However, the Codes of Practice do allow for continued recording “where there are concerns from the public which make it necessary to monitor any local disproportionality”. Concerns should be monitored on a District and Force level and may be identified through individual complaints, feedback from community consultation or Independent Advisory Groups, or by the routine monitoring of performance data concerning stop and search.

Where disproportionality is identified the details should be referred to Chief Officers through monthly performance reporting, so that consideration can be given to begin recording Stop and Account. Where there are concerns which make it necessary to monitor any local disproportionality, forces have discretion to direct officers to record the self-defined ethnicity of persons they request to account for themselves in a public place or who they detain with a view to searching but do not search.

Records should be closely monitored and supervised and the force can suspend or re-instate recording of these encounters as appropriate.

3.6.2 Stop and Search

Section 3 of PACE requires a constable who has carried out a search to make a record of it in writing unless it is not practicable to do so. Code of Practice A now allows for this record to be made electronically or on paper.

The record will be made on the electronic stop and search recording application at the earliest opportunity, but no later than the end of the officer’s current tour of duty, using one of the following methods:

(a) direct entry using a mobile data terminal
(b) direct entry using an Essex Police Computer terminal; or
(c) via telephone by calling the PNC bureau on 828.

In any case the record must include the following:

  • The object of the search;
  • The grounds for making it;
  • The date and time when it was made;
  • The place where it was made;
  • The ethnic origin of the person as described by the person (self-defined ethnicity), and if different, the ethnic origin of the person as perceived by the searching officer;
  • Identity of the officer who carried out the search.

Regardless of whether a search results in arrest or not the searching officer must ensure that an electronic stop and search record is made. This should be done in the presence of the individual stopped, unless there are exceptional circumstances which make this wholly impracticable.

The person who has been searched or who is in charge of the vehicle that has been searched must be provided with a receipt of their search (A302B) and informed that they are entitled to a copy of the search record.

An officer is not required to provide a copy of the full record or a receipt at the time if they are called to an incident of higher priority.

In any other case the stop and search record must be made as soon as possible after the search was completed and the person stopped must be informed of their entitlement to request a copy of the form within 3 months.

Where stop and search activity has resulted in the arrest of the person an electronic stop and search record will be made in addition to the record which will also form part of the custody record. The arresting officer is responsible for informing the custody officer that a search has been made and of the need to create a record. Having completed the record the custody officer will ask the detainee if they require a copy of the record and if they do, they will hand a copy to the detainee as soon as practicable. Where the detainee has declined they may apply for a copy up to 12 months after the search or arrest.

A record is required for each person and each vehicle searched. However, if a person is in a vehicle and both are searched, and the object and grounds of the search are the same, only one record need be completed. If more than one person in a vehicle is searched, separate records for each search of a person must be made. If only a vehicle is searched, the self-defined ethnic background of the person in charge of the vehicle must be recorded, unless the vehicle is unattended.

The person stopped is not obliged to provide their personal details. They should be encouraged to cooperate but if they still refuse a full description of the person must be recorded on the stop and search record. Whilst stop and search maybe routine to officers, it may be the first time the person has been involved with the police. The overall aim is to provide a quality encounter which includes a clear explanation of the process to be undertaken and the legislative power that supports it.

Officers should ensure they record relevant STORM numbers or operational names enabling specific reasons to be given for stop and search incidents, providing additional evidence to justify the grounds for the search.

Some stop and searches are in direct response to descriptions given by witnesses and this can sometimes help explain apparent disproportionality.

3.6.3 Body Worn Video

Where officers have been issued with body worn video, the device must be in use at all times in order to record stop and search encounters, unless the search reveals intimate body parts or other sensitivities and the officer believes the cessation of recording would be appropriate and justifiable in the circumstances.

Body worn video footage of stop and search encounters will be available for scrutiny by Supervisors and at external groups such as the SIAG and Stop and Search Public Review to ensure transparency in the use of stop and search powers.

When using BWV to record such encounters, users should remember:

  • A video recording does not replace the need for a written record of the search, to be completed by the user and given to the person stopped or searched at the time or within the specified time period;
  • Persons searched are not obliged to give their name, address or date of birth to the officer conducting the search;
  • Officers may not use BWV during a stop and search encounter for the express purpose of identifying the subject.

There is no specific power within PACE to take a photograph or video image of a person during a stop and search, but such action is not explicitly prohibited. If requested to stop recording, officers should, therefore, consider whether it is proportionate and necessary in the circumstances to continue to record the encounter using BWV.

If a stop and search does not result in any evidence of criminal conduct, users must adhere to a process for ensuring that non-evidential material is destroyed promptly, in line with data protection requirements.

3.7 Providing Information and Copy Records

Persons who have been stopped and searched must be informed that they are entitled to a copy of the search record within 3 months of the search or within 12 months if arrested and taken to custody.

As paper stop and search records are no longer in use, the person searched must always be provided with a receipt of their search (Form A302B), providing the details of the searching officer, the reference number for the search (if available) or the date and time the search took place. This receipt also sign posts to information from Essex Police about obtaining a copy of their record, an anonymous public survey and other general information regarding the powers and rights and entitlements.

The person searched should be informed that they can obtain a record of the search by either:

  • Attending a police station and producing their receipt and photographic identification; or
  • Providing an address or email address so that the searching officer can send them a copy of the record once complete.

Where a person attends a police station to request a copy of their stop and search record they must first be asked to produce form A302b containing the reference number of their search and personal identification (photographic identification or a utility bill containing their name and address) matching the person details recorded on the stop and search record. If they are unable to satisfy that they are the individual who was searched, they will not be permitted to a copy of the stop search record. See guidance created from Front Desk Staff – found on the LPSU – Stop and Search page under Guidance.

People who have been searched should also be made aware of the opportunity to complete an anonymous survey about their experience, details of which are contained on form A302b.

In addition to this, the person must be given information about police powers of stop and search and their rights in these circumstances. Relevant information for this purpose is given on form A302b or by directing them to view the stop and search pages of the Essex Police website, or alternatively by attending a police station and requesting further information.

3.8 Submission and Supervision

3.8.1 Submission

All stop and search records will now be directly input onto the electronic stop search recording application by the searching officer using a mobile device or Essex Police computer terminal, or by a PNC bureau operator by dialling 828 from their airwave terminal.

In any case the record must be completed before going off duty as it is crucial to maintaining an accurate and up to date intelligence picture that stop and search records are created on the stop search recording application as soon as possible.

There are guide notes on the Mobile First page found on Applications, Team, Mobile First for instructions on creating an electronic stop and search record.

3.8.2 Supervision

First line managers are responsible for ensuring the prompt submission of stop and search records on the database and for quality assuring the data which has been recorded. Once an officer submits a stop and search record on the system the first line manager detailed on the record will receive an email alert to advise them that a record has been created and requires quality assurance. This will not however delay the stop and search record from being viewable on the system for intelligence purposes.

Code of Practice A to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 governs the exercise by police officers of statutory powers of stop and search and states that supervising officers must monitor the use of stop and search powers to ensure they are being applied appropriately and lawfully. Monitoring takes many forms;

  1. Direct supervision;
  2. Examining stop and search records (particularly examining the officer’s documented reasonable grounds for suspicion);
  3. Asking an officer to account for the way in which they conducted and recorded particular searches;
  4. Through complaints about a stop and search that an officer carried out.

Where issues are identified with the way that an officer has used a stop and search power, the facts of the case will determine whether the Code of Ethics has been breached and which formal action is pursued (e.g. performance or misconduct procedures).

Supervisors have a duty to scrutinise stop and search submissions to ensure all relevant information and search grounds are recorded sufficiently to justify the search having taken place. Those records that provide inadequate information to justify the search, or which are incomplete, must be rejected and the officer concerned must be advised as to what action is required.

See supervisor guidance located on the LPSU – Stop and Search page under Guidance.

4.0 Equality Impact Assessment

  • EIA - Equality Impact Assessment

5.0 Risk Assessment

Officers must ensure they are fully aware of the risks associated with the activity together with the options open to them to reduce their exposure to such risks.

Officers utilising these powers must conduct a dynamic assessment of the risk of injury or harm to themselves or others; this will include taking appropriate measures to reduce any identified risk. Where such an opportunity arises, officers should seek to select an appropriate area to perform the stop and search to reduce identified risks. For instance choosing a well-lit area will mean that they are better able to see, and be seen, by other motorists or members of the public.

Officers must notify Force Control Room (FCR), providing the location of the stop and search, number of persons present and any vehicle details. Officers should have due regard to the privacy of the individual should outer garments need to be removed.

Officers must remain aware that any use of force during a stop and search procedure must be lawful, necessary and proportionate in the circumstances. Officers should refer to their defensive skills training in deciding the appropriate level of force to be used.

Uniformed officers must always wear high visibility clothing when undertaking duties relating to moving vehicles or similar situations, in order to minimise the risk of injury or harm to the officer.

6.0 Monitoring and Review

6.1 Internal Scrutiny

Monitoring, analysis, and internal scrutiny of police stop and search data takes place at Chief Officer level during monthly strategic assessment and review meetings, in line with the Stop and search strategic framework.

This ensures the legality of the use of stop and search powers and the monitoring of disproportionality of the ethnicity of those searched. This scrutiny will trigger investigation into apparent disproportionality and encourage comment from DPA Commanders where justification can be provided.

It is the responsibility of supervisors to actively monitor the details of stop searches as an effective means of identifying and addressing instances of disproportionality or occasions where PACE does not appear to have been adhered to.

‘Reasonable grounds’ reports are provided on a monthly basis to Operational Policing Command and District Commanders to ensure regular scrutiny of stop and search encounters.

In line with the Community complaints trigger, complaints pertaining to the policing activity of stop and search will be reviewed every 3 months by Local Policing Support Unit who will prepare a written summary of findings and recommendations based upon these complaints. These findings will be shared with Chief Officers and District Policing Area Commanders.

Any findings from the quarterly report will be actioned accordingly as directed by the Head of Department for Local Policing Support Unit, which may include options such as the dissemination of Organisational learning.

6.2 External Scrutiny

External scrutiny will take place on a quarterly basis when stop and search performance data is presented to the Stop and Search Review Panel, Strategic Independent Advisory Group and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Scrutiny Panel.

This external scrutiny along with feedback from the anonymous public survey will influence organisational learning and help to identify future training needs. Quarterly stop and search performance data and feedback from these scrutiny groups will also be published on the Essex Police website to ensure transparency around the use of stop and search in Essex.

6.2.1 Stop and Search Review Panel

On a bi-monthly basis the Stop and Search Review Panel will meet to scrutinise individual stop and search records and other relevant stop and search data as identified by the group.

This group will consist of a variety of members from all over Essex and will represent various ages/genders/ethnicities etc. The group will meet and review Stop Search data including Body Worn Video Footage of the same. The independent feedback will be recorded and acted on appropriately.

The group will in particular focus on individual stop and search records, especially reasonable grounds to justify the search.

6.3 Retention and Disposal of Records

Essex Police will retain Stop and Search data in accordance with W 1012 Procedure/SOP – Records Review, Retention and Disposal.

7.0 Consultation

The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:

  • Federation / Unison
  • Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator / Manager
  • Health & Safety / IAGs
  • Staff Networks –Disability network and Minority Ethnic Support Association
  • DPA Commanders / DCI – Intel
  • Strategic Change Team

8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures

  • A 0800 Policy - Stop and Search
  • A 0802 Procedure - Section 60-60AA
  • B 1200 Policy - Child Abuse Investigations
  • A 0900 Policy - Body Worn Video
  • A 0901 Procedure - Body Worn Video - Operational Use, Recording and the Evidential Process
  • A 0603 Procedure – Ride Along Scheme and Lay Observation
  • W 1012 Procedure/SOP – Records Review, Retention and Disposal.

9.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)

  • PNLD - Acts of Parliament and Common Law - PACE 1984
  • Police Visual Handbook - Powers and Procedures – searches
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code of Practice A
  • Form A302b – You have been stopped and searched by an Essex Police Officer
  • EIA - Equality Impact Assessment
  • Code of Practice – Stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000
  • APP – Stop and Search, College of Policing
  • APP – Public Site
  • APP – Secure Site
  • Appendix 1 – Rooms identified for more thorough searches