The New Policy
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and HMIC (Her Majesty Inspectorate of Constabulary) made certain recommendations in relation to police stop and search.
Merseyside Police have taken the three main areas recommended for change and implemented a new policy to address these.
The three areas subject to change are:
A new policy covering all the new recommendations
A new form and information system implemented
Ensure that the community of Merseyside will be informed of their rights
The new policy will ensure that all Stop and Searches are carried out in a fair, honest and unbiased way.
A police officer has the right to stop and speak to you in the course of their duty. This does not mean you have committed an offence. To search you the officer must have 'reasonable suspicion' to do so.
Before the officer searches you he or she will give you certain information relating to why you are going to be searched.
After the search you will be given a copy of the search record with a full explanation of your rights on the reverse.
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, politicians, academics and community groups have all recognised that stops and stop / searches of members of the public are an effective tool in the fight against crime when carried out in the correct circumstances.
The new system for recording stop/searches will assist intelligence-led policing. This in turn will help increase public confidence, resulting in more effective policing.
The new procedures will ensure compliance with all recommendations, promote community safety and increase public satisfaction in Merseyside police.
Merseyside Police have launched a publicity campaign to communicate the new Stop and Search policy.
The campaign involves television and radio advertisements, posters for billboards and buses, promotion at local sports events amongst things.
Merseyside Police will also be using community groups and other agencies to ensure the greatest coverage of the Merseyside region.
The campaign will continue the commitment of Merseyside Police to keep the Merseyside Community informed of their rights and also of the issues, which affect the people who work and live in the region
The Advice Line
Merseyside Police has compiled and set up a freephone help/advice line for use by the public.
0800 138 1699
This provides advice on all aspects of a stop and search and explains in detail the following points:
What is a stop and search?
What are the rights of the individual being searched?
Where can a person be stopped and searched?
The procedure to be followed by the officer during a stop and search.
The written information to be given after a stop and search.
The advice line is recorded in various languages to cater for the Merseyside´s diverse population