Independent Police Complaints Commission
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IPCC comment on the HMIC Stop and Search report

Commenting on the findings from HMIC Stop and Search report IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said:

“It is disappointing that HMIC have found that many police leaders still see low numbers of complaints about stop and search as a sign that people are essentially satisfied with the way the powers are being used. We know from our engagement with BME communities and young people that stop and search remains a highly contentious issue. Often the people who are most affected by stop and search are those least able to access the complaints system.

“Forces need to ensure that people know how to complain, that the complaints system is accessible at local level, that when people complain their complaints are dealt with effectively, and that officers are held to account when they are found to have misused stop and search powers.

“Clear leadership around stop and search is also vital so that those who use stop and search powers are held accountable for their actions, a message echoed by HMIC.

“Analysis of complaints is one way to help identify ways to improve the service they provide, but as HMIC suggests, individual forces need to do more to better understand the messages coming from complaints. Forces also need to look at other ways of understanding people’s experiences of stop and search. This could include collecting feedback from people who are stopped, advocacy organisations, engagement with community groups and young people in schools, or involvement of people in community scrutiny panels and IAGs. It is disappointing that HMIC have found that some forces are using low numbers of complaints to justify not doing more work in this area.

“The IPCC remains committed to working with forces and the College of Policing to help them improve the way that stop and search complaints are handled.”


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