Scrutiny is an integral part of ensuring that Lincolnshire Police maintains policing standards and delivers fair and equitable policing services responsive to its communities. External scrutiny seeks to increase public understanding, legitimacy, confidence, and trust in policing. Allowing members of the public to hold the Chief Constable and officers to account through an appropriate mechanism, which requires the explanation of the use of policing powers, tactics, and procedures. Learning from scrutiny contributes to and informs service improvements.
Stop and search is an important police power that prevents, disrupts and detects criminal activity. However it can also be an intrusive experience so we have to ensure that its use is fair and effective.
As part of the Public Scrutiny Panel, your role will be to review a sample of recent stop search encounters and provide individual feedback. A Police facilitator will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
You will be asked consider:
If the search is justified, lawful and stands up to public scrutiny.
If the officer has genuine and objectively reasonable suspicion that they will find a prohibited article or item for use in crime
If the person understands why they have been searched and feels treated with respect
If the search was necessary and proportionate
There is no such thing as a voluntary search. The legal power to search must be applicable.
Legal Power Definitions
Section 1 PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) 1984
Section 23 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
A Police Constable may detain in order to search any person, vehicle or anything which is in or on a vehicle, in any place to which the public has access, if he or she has reasonable grounds for suspecting that stolen or prohibited articles (or sharply pointed or bladed articles) or prohibited fireworks will be found. Any constable can exercise this power whether in uniform or plain clothes
Reasonable grounds is genuine suspicion they will find the object and that the object found must be reasonable.
Search can only be the extent required to search for the item the person is suspected of carrying. In a public place, only outer clothing can be removed. If the search needs to go beyond outer clothing, the person should be searched out of public view.
Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000
Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
Police Reform Act 2002 (Police Community Support Officers)
Officers are required to explain to an individual why they have been stopped and what the search is for. They have to go through eight specific pieces of information which we refer to as GO-WISELY below. Officers must also follow the Police Code of Ethics.
Grounds for search
Object/purpose of search
Warrant card (if not in uniform)
Identity of officer
Station to which officer is attached
Entitlement to a copy of the search record (and up to three months after)
Legal power used
You are detained for the purposes of a search
After watching the encounter and hearing the search grounds provided by the officer, you will be provided with a link to complete individual feedback and to assess the encounter using a five-point grading below:
Excellent - Faultless.
Very good - No significant issues established by the panel; learning may be identified but what has been identified are minor points of feedback to the officer.
Good - Some wider areas of learning established; however, panel feel this can be addressed through communication to the officer, panel remain happy the search was lawful and nothing taken place to suggest discrimination.
Requires improvement - Areas identified that require improvement that may need more than simple advice or reflection – please provide detail on the feedback form.
Unacceptable - Falls short of professional standards of behaviour or any evidence of discriminatory behaviour. Police facilitators to take further action post scrutiny panel.
You may refer to this guidance during the Panel and when completing the feedback from, but please feel free to ask questions to the facilitators at any point.
If at any time you recognise an individual you must make this known to the panel by raising your hand or writing in the chat. You will be reminded of this prior to each encounter reviewed.
You may only take part in the panel on completion of a Confidentiality Agreement and the panel will be monitored throughout.
Any individual not adhering to the confidentiality agreement or displaying any discriminatory behaviour will be immediately removed from the panel.
Given the nature of work police officers undertake you may be exposed to scenes of a distressing nature, such as violence, swearing or situations that may be upsetting. You can withdraw yourself at any time.
If you require any supportive adjustments to take part in the panel, please make these known to [email protected]