Concerns about use of stop and search need to be addressed, says Federation

3 March 2021

The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation says the Force needs to invest in training and support for frontline officers to help address concerns about the use of stop and search.

Roger Webb explains: “We’ve seen that intelligence-led stop and search is an effective tactic to help prevent crime, take weapons off our streets and keep the public safe,” he explains.

“My colleagues need the training and the safeguards – such as body-worn video – to ensure they’re using it appropriately and proportionately as they serve their communities, seeking to serve and protect the public, fight and prevent crime and keep people safe.

“We know there’s work to be done to address concerns about the disproportionate use of stop and search and it’s important the people we serve have confidence in the way these powers are being used and, as a Federation, we’re committed to that.

“But it is just as important for us to know that officers are supported when they follow that training.”

Roger was speaking after the publication of a new report  by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMCIFRS) on the disproportionate use of police powers with a spotlight on stop and search and use of force.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “Over 35 years on from the introduction of stop and search legislation, no force fully understands the impact of the use of these powers. Disproportionality persists and no force can satisfactorily explain why.”

According to the report, in 2019/20, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people were over four times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

It also estimated there were reasonable grounds for stop and search encounters in 81.7 per cent of cases – down from 94 per cent in 2017.

Forces have been urged to improve their understanding of the tactic by identifying disproportionality, take action to reduce it where required and explain those reasons and actions to the public.