We know that stop and search is a challenging subject, so it is important to show the public how it helps protect them and why it is such a vital tool in preventing and reducing crime by targeting people we have reasonable grounds we believe may be involved in criminality. We know stop and search protects the public and takes weapons and drugs off the streets.
But we wanted to discover what the public know so we can further engage and support communities across the county. In recent months, we have run a successful media campaign to test the knowledge of our communities through the launch of a online quiz while at the same time providing educational information about stop and search and why it is so important to reduce crime.
This also gave us an opportunity to involve the public further and discover what they are aware of, in terms of how we can enforce this vital crime prevention tool.
We are pleased to report that we had just under 1,000 responses to the quiz; the average score was nine correct answers out of 11 questions.
Supt Philip Stinger, who is the force tactical lead for Stop and Search said:
“This is the best online engagement around Stop and Search we have had and we are encouraged not only by the results but also the knowledge and awareness around this vital police power that exists within our communities. “We have made huge strides in this area of work and continue to ensure we are carrying out stop and search in a fair, effective and lawful way to detect crime and criminals. It is an essential and effective way to keep people safe, as well as our officers who regularly put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of the public we serve.”
Mr Stinger added: “We are continually looking at new ways to engage and involve our communities. Later this year we will be introducing scrutiny from a panel of youths who will be able to view some of our Body Worn Video (BWV) footage and offer their own thoughts about how officers carry out stop searches. This follows our work engaging with college students through various focus groups earlier in the year. Many of the people on this panel wouldn’t usually engage with the police but the feedback they can provide will be really valuable as it will help us further craft our training to our officers about how to engage with young people effectively during a stop and search.
“This adds to the other work we’re doing to address issues such as disproportionality, the understanding of what stop and search is, and scrutiny of its use.”
Stop and search quiz
Below is an overview of how different age groups, districts and genders scored in our stop and search quiz.