Cleveland Police are looking for BAME Community members for Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel.
Cleveland Police are organising a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Scrutiny Panel to focus on the police power of Stop and Search. This meeting will consist of reviewing a number of recent anonymised Stop Search incidents within Cleveland.
Cleveland Police welcome opinions from local residents and this scrutiny panel will allow a discussion on the topic of Stop Search whereby residents can communicate with the force directly. Contributions will help Cleveland Police develop their processes in relation to this subject matter.
Terms of Reference
The purpose of the Cleveland Police Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel is to improve the trust and confidence of communities in the way Cleveland Police use stop and search powers by involving community members in the scrutiny of stop searches. The Panel will review a variety of information and carry out direct observation in order to identify areas for learning and good practice. The Panel will also review any complaints regarding the use of Stop and Search. The Panel is a voice to feedback to the local community, and to influence Police and Police and Crime Commissioner policy and decisions.
The panel of up to 10 members will consist of interested parties from across the Force area representative of Cleveland’s diverse communities. There will be a Police representative present to provide any information or answer queries in relation to police terminology or powers. There will also be a member of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, who will feed back to the Commissioner.
The Chair and Vice Chair will be elected by peer members of the Panel. The Chair and Vice Chair will be appointed for a period of one year and this will be reviewed annually.
The Panel will initially meet quarterly. The frequency of meetings will be reviewed once the Panel is established.
Review and Information
The Panel will be provided with a random sample of Stop and Search records prior to the meeting. These forms will have the identity of the person stopped and officer conducting the stop redacted. These forms will then be reviewed to identify any concerns, issues and areas of good practice and learning.
Should there be specific issues within communities or locations this method of sampling can be adapted to ensure that no powers are being used disproportionately against specific groups or locations in the community. The sampling can be targeted at a particular power, location or reason for search.
The Panel has the discretion to request the samples from any specific area they choose to analyse.
Additional information will be provided during the meeting on crime types/trends within the areas where the stop searches have been conducted.
The Panel will be provided with anonymised details of any complaints regarding the use of Stop and Search. These complaints will be reviewed to identify any concerns, issues and areas of good practice and learning.
The Panel will feedback any concerns from local communities in the use of stop and search to the meeting and also feedback to the same communities on the outcomes of the discussions and issues raised at the meeting.
The police representative will ensure that panel members are provided with minutes from the Scrutiny panel meetings including any actions.
Where issues are raised that fall outside the scope of the Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel, then the Chair will bring this to the attention of the police representative who will ensure that the appropriate action is taken. They will feedback to the Panel on the result of any action taken.
Observing Panel members will be invited to observe the training input given to Cleveland Police officers in the use of Stop and Search and observe officers using Stop and Search powers.
This will be done by Panel members engaging in a “ride along” to observe officers carrying out their duties, including Stop and Search powers.
Cleveland Police also use body worn cameras. The footage of Stop and search powers being carried out could also be used to allow the Panel to review officer’s performance in the future, subject to being able to adequately anonymise subjects.
A review of the Panel and membership will be undertaken annually to ensure that it is representative of the communities of Cleveland.
The terms of reference is a “living document” and will be subject to regular reviews to ensure that it takes account of any Force, Home Office/ACPO, legislative changes, and good practice (learning lessons) both locally and nationally.