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Statement in response to IOPC report on stop and search powers

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has responded to a new report aiming to prevent disproportionate use of stop and search powers by police.

The report, published by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), sets out 18 recommendations to protect people from Black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds from stop and searches that are influenced by racial stereotyping and bias.

Commenting on the report, Mr Matthews said: “Stop and search is an effective way to prevent and detect crime, especially serious violence.

“Recent incidents nationally have reminded us that we still have a long way to go to eradicate knife crime and I believe we must continue to take tough action against those who carry dangerous weapons on our streets with an intelligence-led approach.  It is also imperative our officers feel confident and supported to drive tough law enforcement to those who present a risk to the public.

“However, the exercise of such powers must be fair and legitimate and stand up to public scrutiny.  This is why in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, we have a number of independent processes and systems in place to rigorously examine the use of stop and search including dip sampling of Body Worn Video evidence to maintain the highest ethical standards.

“The public must have trust and confidence in the way that the Leicestershire Police use their powers to stop and search members of the public.  Increasing public confidence in the police and the way they protect our communities is a top priority and I support the IOPC’s efforts to implement these improvements to build trust in these powers.”

The full IPOC report is available at:

https://policeconduct.gov.uk/national-stop-and-search-learning-report-april-2022

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Posted on Friday 29th April 2022
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