Stop & Search Panel Summary

 

Future Stop & Search Scrutiny Sessions

 

25/01/2018 - ACANE (African Community Action North East), Byker, Newcastle

30/01/2018 - Gateshead Youth Assembly, Gateshead Civic Centre (POSTPONED)

13/02/2018 - Newcastle Youth Council, Newcastle Civic Centre

05/03/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

06/03/2018 - Gateshead Youth Assembly, Gateshead Civic Centre

30/04/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

20/08/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

15/10/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

10/12/2018 - SIAG (Strategic Independant Advisory Group)

 

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Group:              Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:      1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 8th January 2018

Location:            Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees:         Supt. Paul Milner, PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 1633 Nichol, Ranjana Bell (SIAG Chair), Zaf Iqbal (SIAG)


The members of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane. This was to be undertaken prior to the scheduled SIAG meeting.    

PC 2832 Burton, Central Area Command Communities Engagement Team a brief overview of the stop and search records for the 8 week period from 23/10/2017 to 17/12/2017 including 44 searches conducted on non-white subjects across the force. It was agreed that the SIAG would have the opportunity to scrutinise any search of for a BME subject (it was suggested that every search record should be scrutinised by the group but this was deemed to be unrealistic given the time commitment). Al searches were checked for any available body worn video footage which would be made available to the group upon request.

The SIAG members picked 6 records to check from the list or 44 records made available. A list of 44 reference numbers was presented. These references did not indicate ethnicity, self-classification, name, gender or the area of the force the search was conducted in.

The live stop & search record for each of the 6 selected for scrutiny was reviewed by the group. In each case the GOWISELY aspects of each search record were checked and all were found to be compliant. 

The groups raised concerns with 5 records relating to issues with the recorded names for subject, the details fo the self-classification recorded and the details of the Home Office classifications for the subject and ethnicity which were felt to be outdated and needed to be reviewed.

In 5 searches the records were linked to police incident logs. These records were also checked to ensure there were no inconsistencies in the information recorded in the stop & search record.

At the conclusion of the session discussion took place about the setting up of a stand alone stop & search scrutiny panel or a number of permanent groups across the 3 area commands in the force. It was felt that the desire of Northumbria Police to have every record for a BME subject scrutinised was unrealistic for the SIAG.

 

 

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Group:              Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:      1200 hrs to 1300 hrs 11th September 2017

Location:            Middle Engine Lane Police Station

Attendees:         Supt. Paul Milner, PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, SIAG members


The members of the Strategic Independent Advisory Group were invited to attend a Stop & Search scrutiny panel at Middle Engine Lane. This was to be undertaken prior to the scheduled SIAG meeting.    

PC 2832 Burton, Central Area Command Communities Engagement Team, provided a briefing about the work with young people in the area command to provide them with opportunities to review the way in which Northumbria Police use Stop & Search powers and to provide their feedback following review of search records and body worn footage of searches. The recent visit of 2 visiting cohorts from Cheshire & Durham Constabularies following the previous attendance of the HMIC to the scrutiny panel was welcomed.

An information pack was provided including :-

A legislation guide for Stop & Search (S1 PACE 1984)

Information about best practice when searching

Search records for 15 searches and accompanying body worn video for review. These records related to the use of the new digital records used by officers from their phablet mobile devices.

The group was reminded of the powers available to officers and the use of GOWISELY (minimum standard of information required to be given to the subject of the search) i.e. :-

  • Grounds for search
  • Object of search
  • Warrant card (shown if not in uniform)
  • Identity of the officer conducting the search
  • Station the officer works at
  • Entitlement to a copy of the search record
  • Legal power used for the search
  • You are detained for the search

The panel viewed 6 stop and search records during the session and paid particular attention to the grounds for search recorded on the records. In 2 cases it was deemed that the grounds for search were out not sufficient on the form but in both cases upon checking the police incident and related records it was found that there were sufficient grounds. It was suggested that further advice should be provided to officers to ensure that all relevant information is correctly recorded on the actual search record rather than associated systems as these would not be provided to the subject of the search if requested.

The decision of Northumbria Police to move to a digital recording system for stop & search records rather than the hand written records was welcomed as the information was now readable (illegible writing on forms has been a long standing issue). The digital solution also enabled additional safeguards to be put in place by the force to require specific information to be recorded prior to the officer moving on through the recording process.

The group did not request to view any of the accompanying body worn videos for the searches checked. It was felt that from previous checks made that officers acted in a professional manner. However, the use of body worn video was discussed and it was suggested that every operational uniformed officer should wear body worn video as a matter of policy in order to protect the officer and subject of the search. It was felt that this was a positive step by Northumbria Police and allowed for further scrutiny and promoted good practice by officers.

It was decided by the group that further scrutiny sessions would be conducted prior to every SIAG meeting and that scrutiny of body worn video footage for searches would not be routinely undertaken.

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Group:                Central Area Command Police Cadets

Time / Date:      1000 hrs to 1200 hrs 17th August 2017

Location:            Newcastle West Police Office, West Road, Newcastle

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 535 Metcalfe, Chief Supt. Spraggon (Durham Constabulary), Insp. Stockdale (Durham Constabulary), David Dove (Durham Constabulary)


Background:      The Northumbria Police cadets participated in the initial pilot of the stop & search scrutiny panel in March 2016 and were asked to participate in future session when new cohorts of recruits were available.

This session was planned in order to allow visiting officers from Durham Constabulary to witness the process and was undertaken in the same manner with other groups.

 The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An reminder of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between June 2017 & July 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

A group of 10 new Police Cadets recruits attended the session with 2 cadets in their second year of the scheme, although these 2 participants had not previously been involved in the scrutiny sessions.

The group completed an initial questionnaire about their perceptions of the police use of Stop & Search powers. One participant expressed the view that the use of the power was in the main targeted towards minorities & used disproportionately. All other participants responded that they felt the power was used frequently by Northumbria Police but was not overused. There were varied responses as to the purpose of the use of the power including to apprehend those carrying drugs, weapons and to deter criminal activity.

The group completed 3 searches during the sessions, discussing in detail the information recorded on each form and the corresponding body worn video footage of the search. All searches were deemed to be proportionate and justified from the information provided.

It was felt by all in the group that the use of body won video to record searches was positive and protected both the subject of the search from officers ‘over stepping the mark’ and the officers from false allegations.

The group were particularly complimentary of the officers involved in a search in Berwick which showed the officers understanding and responding to the subjects concerns of privacy from passers-by and potentially people known to him which may have caused embarrassment.  The officer proportionate reaction to the discovery of used drugs needles was also complimented.

The visiting officers from Durham Constabulary explained to the cadets the systems currently in place for recording stop & searches and the mandatory use of body worn video in the force. This was welcomed by the group.

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Group:               Gateshead Youth Assembly (GYA)

Time / Date:      1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 11th July 2017

Location:            Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, 3 visiting officers from Cheshire, representative of Cheshire IAG (Independent Advisory Group) , Mayor of Gateshead, 16 young people from Gateshead Youth Assembly.


Background:      The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly participated for the first time in March 2017.  The second panel due to take place on 25th May 2017 was postponed following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack 3 days prior.

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between March 2017 & July 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

 

This session was attended by a visiting cohort of officers from Cheshire Police and the Cheshire Independent Advisory Group following positive comments from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary about the panels.  The Mayor of Gateshead and a number of other officers attended part of the panel.

The young people from the GYA represented a number of Gateshead Schools, were of a variety of ages, gender & ethnicity.

Due to the number of external visitors to the session the group was provided with an overview of police Stop & Search powers including the use of GOWISLEY and local recording procedures. This overview gave the young people the opportunity to ask questions about their rights when stopped by the police e.g. the question about having to provide names, date of birth and address was raised and discussed. It was confirmed that you were not legally required to provide these details for the purposed of a Stop & Search.

The group was provided with access to 15 stop & searches which were accompanied with body worn video footage alongside the stop & search record as the group had highlighted in their initial session that there was a preference for searches captured on video as it allowed further scrutiny of the conduct of the search as well as compliance with the powers.

The group reviewed 6 searches during the session, including the stop & search records and accompanying video. In all cases the panel agreed that each search was compliant from the details provided on the record, although in one case having viewed the video it was deemed appropriate that further details should have been recorded on the record to support the grounds further (this search occurred in the public waiting area of a hospital).

The group viewed all 6 body worn videos and were complimentary of the conduct of the officers in all videos, commenting that the behaviour of several of those searched presented the officers with a difficult situation.

The group did note that in most cases officers exposed themselves and subject to potential risk by not wearing protective gloves during searches and this should be fed back to all officers.

The group expressed their thanks to the visitors from Cheshire for travelling so far to witness the session.

 

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Group:                Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:      1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 25th May 2017

Location:            Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, visiting officers from Cheshire.


Background:      The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April 2017 and participated for the first time in March 2017.  

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted between March 2017 & May 2017 (where body worn video footage is available)
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns

 

UPDATE

Due to the terrorist attack in Manchester on 22nd May 2017 this sessions was postponed. Expected to be conducted within 8 weeks.

 

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Group:               Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 14th March 2017

Location:             Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:          PC 2832 Burton, PC 935 Ender, Valerie Ender, 10 young people from the youth assembly


Background: The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April but was unable to put time aside in a very busy schedule until July.

The session plans to provide the assembly with:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel).

 

UPDATE

10 participants aged 14 to 16 years, a mix of gender, one BME participant.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights. The majority of respondents were positive about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were exercised rarely or occasionally. Most stated that the powers were used to keep communities safe and to find out if people were carrying weapons or restricted items. The majority were not aware of their rights if stopped. Most either tended to agree or strongly agreed that the power was used fairly by Northumbria Police & it made neighbourhoods safer.

Stop & Search powers were explained & discussed, including the information required to be provided and recorded by searching officers (GOWISLEY). 2 scenario videos were shown to the group allowing them to see correct stop and search procedures in practice. These scenarios included examples of a BME youth being stopped and the officer dealing with a verbal confrontation (negative search) & a male officer searching the outer jacket pockets of a female (positive search). In both cases the videos sparked discussion around procedures, best practice & officer safety. 

The group selected 4 stop and real world searches to check, from a batch of 9 with body worn video footage available. The group was provided with a copy of the stop & search form for each search & checked each form for the grounds, object, officer details, officer station, paying particular attention to the grounds for the search recorded by the officer. They checked these against the video footage of the officer conducting the searches.

In all cases the group felt that the forms recorded sufficient information for the searches to be lawful, each search was conducted in a manner unlikely to demean the subject.

In 2 cases discussion took place about the extent of searches in public places i.e. did each search go beyond jacket, outer clothing & gloves. In one search, conducted around 2am in a wooded area off a country road it was deemed that was sufficient to be out of public view for a male’s hat to be removed. The other took place in a hospital A&E department in the middle of the night and showed the subject trying to remove various items of clothing which was stopped by the officer searching.

The participants were concerned to see that in all cases officers failed to wear protective gloves when searching which would protect the officers from exposure to infections & also for the safety of the subject from cross infection from officers.  The group felt that this was a very important issue that needed to be fed back to all police officers.

The group was informed about updated stop & search training that will be given to all police officers in Northumbria in the coming months.

The group was impressed with the use of body worn videos and found it helpful to understand some of issues faced by officers when dealing with non-compliant subject or vulnerable people. It was hoped that this technology will be made available to all operational officers in the near future.

The participants expressed a desire to participate in further panels & appreciated the value in independent scrutiny, especially by young people.

The group was happy to tweet an image of them conducting the sessions via @GBYOC.

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Group:                  West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES)

Time / Date:       1600 hrs 13th March 2017

Location:             4 Graingerville South, West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Lucy Ward (Staff), 7 young people 


Background: Service offeringdrop-ins for young people to provide access to the sexual health service with staff also able to talk to about drugs and alcohol, mental health, employment, young people’s rights, debts and benefits and get help with reading and writing.

The session plans to provide the assembly with :-

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel). 


UPDATE

7 young people (mixed age group from 14 years to 24 years), attended the session.

Prior to the sessions all participants were asked to complete part of a questionnaire focusing on perceptions of Northumbria Police’s use of stop and search & their knowledge of their rights. The participants had a neutral or positive opinion about Northumbria Police, believing that the powers were exercised rarely or occasionally. Most stated that the Police used stop & search to find out if people were carrying ‘things’ (weapons, restricted items or drugs). Most were not aware of their rights if stopped. One person commented that the Police stopped and searched a disproportionate number of black males, but qualified this comment making reference to the media & Metropolitan Police.

The group scrutinised 4 real world search. They found the information recorded some of the forms difficult to read and understand, it was felt that in one case the grounds for a search recorded by the officer (smell of cannabis) was not sufficient grounds and could have been explained better. 

Body worn video footage of each search was viewed. In one search having seen the video, it was felt that the extent of the search was not supported by the grounds provided.

It was noted that officers were providing lots of information to the subjects but that there was a risk that some people may having difficulty in understanding this information (language barrier, mental health issues, substance abuse).

Officer safety was raised and the use of protective gloves.

At the conclusion of the session the group revisited the questionnaire and views about Northumbria Police’s use of Stop & Search were more positive than before the session.

The group indicated a willingness to assist with scrutiny of stop and search forms in the future & were grateful that the police publish stop & search data which they would review.

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Group:                  Northumbria Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:       1230 hrs – 1330 hrs 6th March 2017

Location:             Middle Engine Lane Police Station, North Tyneside.

Attendees:         T. Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt Gary Querry, PC David Burton, 10 x SIAG members, Garry Armstrong (HMIC)


 
Background: The SIAG (Strategic Independent Advisory Group) considers force-wide strategy and policy. Its aims are to improve public confidence and openness between Northumbria Police and the communities it serves by seeking advice from all sections of the community, minority and majority groups, who have specific skills, abilities, knowledge or awareness of issues affecting those communities with the intention of providing a fair and equitable delivery of services to all.

 

The session plans to provide:

  • Brief input about GOWISELY for attendees.
  • Opportunity to view a sample of stop & searches by Northumbria Police officers captured on body worn video.
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted by Northumbria Police officers.

 

UPDATE

Session opened by Supt. Milner who provided a brief update on the forthcoming roll out of the Stop & Search recording app for Northumbria officers which will be added to every operational officer’s phablet device. This app will improve the quality of the Stop & Search records (rather than paper based hand written forms), other benefits include GPS capabilities, photographs of subjects being available to officers. The roll out is expected to begin mid April 2017.

The planned roll out of Stop & Search training for all officers across the force using a College of Policing approved package is expected to begin in April, taking around 5 weeks to reach all officers.

The Chair of the SIAG commented that the group were already involved with Stop & Search training for new recruits in relation to unconscious bias.

The panel were provided with a brief overview of GOWISELY and police powers for Stop & Search prior to watching 3 separate body worn videos of real life searches conducted recently. A copy of the stop & search form submitted by the searching officer was provided.

Panel members raised issues & concerns about: 

  • Difficulty in reading the information submitted on the forms by officers.
  • How language difficulties are addressed (not an issue with any of the searches shown).
  • Potential difficulties with subjects from different cultures not aware of stop & search (e.g. foreign nationals).
  • Officer safety issues were highlighted in the conduct of 2 searches, a training issue.
  • Lack of use of protective gloves by officers.
  • In one search lack of grounds for search was identified.
  • The retention period for body worn video footage of searches.
  • Supervisors’ checks made & recorded on forms. 

A further sample of 10 Stop & Search forms was made available to panel members to view during the session. The only comment made about the quality of these forms was regarding inconsistencies with the quantity of information provided on forms about descriptions of the subject of the search.

The group have requested that in the next session more forms are made available & no body worn video examples.

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Group:                  Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre

Time / Date:       12.00 hrs  10th February 2017

Location:             Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, Suleman Mohammed, Mumtaz Khan &  members of new Mosque Committee        


Background: Newcastle Central Mosque & Islamic Centre has recently undergone a change in the committee overseeing the running of the mosque on behalf of the Newcastle Pakistani Muslim Association. A meeting was held with members of the new committee to discuss future community engagement with the mosque congregation and their families.

 

During the meeting discussion took place about the Police use of stop & search but this was not seen to be an issue which had a detrimental effect on the local community. An opportunity to participate in scrutiny of this area of police work will be considered by the committee if a group of willing participants from the congregations younger worshippers can be found.  It was felt by Mr Khan that the new committee would be working more with the police & local community groups so there is likely to be a good response to participating.

 UPDATE

Awaiting a response from the Mosque. Delayed due to ongoing legal issues 

 

 

Group:                  ACANE (African Community Advice North East)

Time / Date:       10.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs  20th January 2017

Location:             ACANE, Raby Cross, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Sgt 96 Oakes, Vadood Aghajani, 6 residents


Background: ACANE is a lottery funded community project based in the Byker area of Newcastle, assisting the settlement and integration of asylum seekers & refugees from Africa in Newcastle.  The group provides a range of services and facilities to the local community (not restricted to the Black African community) and is a engagement link between Police and the community.

The session plans to provide: 

  • Discussion about relationships between Black African community & Police
  • Local Policing concerns
  • Discussion about Police use of stop & search (local & national)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted                          

The session focused on local community issues & the police response to those concerns including discussion about stop & search. Questions were raised about the legalities of Police encounters with members of the public (stop & search, encounters & traffic matters). Discussion and a detailed overview of the powers took place about the powers of stop & search (people and vehicles) as there was clear misunderstanding amongst attendees about the powers police have in the UK. 

When asked attendees commented that there were no issues or concerns amongst the young black African community in the Byker area of Newcastle about Police use of Stop & Search. As parents and a close community group they felt that they would be aware of emerging problems from their children. The group were keen to bring a group of willing young people from the community together over the Easter school holiday period  to speak to Police about stop & search and were particularly interested in their rights being explained to them should they be stopped by Police (GOWISELY information).

 Due to time constraints no stop & search forms were checked on this occasion.

 

UPDATE

Awaiting confirmation of a date for a scrutiny panel & youth engagement panel.

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Group:                  Northumbria Police Strategic Independent Advisory Group

Time / Date:       9th January 2017

Location:             Middle Engine Lane Police Station, North Tyneside.

Attendees:         T. Supt. Paul Milner, Sgt Gary Querry, PC David Burton, SIAG members


Background: The SIAG (Strategic Independent Advisory Group)considers force-wide strategy and policy. Its aims are to improve public confidence and openness between Northumbria Police and the communities it serves by seeking advice from all sections of the community, minority and majority groups, who have specific skills, abilities, knowledge or awareness of issues affecting those communities with the intention of providing a fair and equitable delivery of services to all.

The session plans to provide: 

  • Brief input about GOWISELY for attendees.
  • Opportunity to view a sample of stop & searches by Northumbria Police officers captured on body worn video.
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent stop & search forms submitted by Northumbria Police officers. 

UPDATE

03/01/2017 SIAG meeting cancelled

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Group:                  Gateshead Youth Assembly

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 12th July 2016

Location:             Gateshead Civic Centre Chambers, Gateshead

Attendees:         PC 2832 Burton, Valerie Ender, around 20 young people from the youth assembly


Background: The Gateshead Youth Assembly is made up of representatives from the secondary schools in Gateshead working to give young people a voice in the borough on important issues highlighted by them including topics such as CSE, bullying, self-confidence, the environment & child poverty.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly was approached to participate in a scrutiny panel in April but was unable to put time aside in a very busy schedule until July. 

The session plans to provide the assembly with:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Discussion about views & concerns
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel). 


UPDATE
 

Unfortunately due to illness the Gateshead Youth Assembly was unable to meet as arranged to hold this event. The assembly organisers are keen to participate in this work in the future when time can be found.

The Gateshead Youth Assembly have out time aside between 1700 hrs & 1900 hrs Tuesday 14th March 2017 to run a scrutiny panel at Gateshead Civic Centre.

It is hoped that following an initial panel this can become a regular (quarterly) event at the assembly.

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Group:                  Streetwise Project

Time / Date:       1700 hrs to 1900 hrs 18th May 2016

Location:             Space 2, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         A. Sgt 2832 Burton, PC 17 MacGregor, 12 participants.


Background: Streetwise, a nationally awarded charity, has been running since 1991 offering a range of counselling & advice services for young people aged 11 to 25 and plays a vital role in making young people feel safe in Newcastle City Centre. The project has worked with Northumbria Police & the local authority on many occasions to provide a young person’s perspective on a range of issues and assisting with planning for events which may impact on young people e.g. protests.  

The session plans to provide:

  • Pre questionnaire to determine current views & opinions on Stop & Search locally.
  • An overview of the Police powers of Stop & Search
  • View videos of role play stop & search (good practice & bad practice)
  • Opportunity to scrutinise sample of recent Stop & Search forms submitted in June 2016
  • Opportunity to view & scrutinise a number of body worn videos of Stop & Searches (time permitting)
  • Question & answer session
  • Questionnaire about Northumbria Police use of Stop & Search (post panel)
  • Future panel 

The session will be hosted by the Space 2 Youth Pilgrim Street, Newcastle which has large facilities to accommodate a larger group of participants if more wish to get involved.

UPDATE

Panel postponed until 1700 hrs 22/06/2016 due to feedback from the participants that they would not be attending due to impending end of year exams.

UPDATE

Panel cancelled by Police due to clash with another event. Both, Streetwise & Space 2, are keen to participate in a future event when time permits.

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Group:                  Northumbria University

Time / Date:       1000 hrs to 1100 hrs 28th April 2016

Location:             Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Attendees:         A. Sgt 2832 Burton, PC 17 MacGregor, 4 participants.


Background: Northumbria University Students Union was approached to participate in a Stop & Search panel. Students from the Criminology & Psychology course were canvassed by Dr. Kelly Stockdale and 15 students requested to take part.  Unfortunately, only 4 turned up due to exams being held on the day of the panel.

An information pack was provided to participants including:

  • 3 scenario based searches (used to prompt discussion prior to reviewing live searches)
  • A legislation guide for Stop & Search (S1 PACE 1984)
  • Information about best practice when searching
  • Search records for 6 searches and accompanying body worn video for review 

UPDATE

Participants were asked to complete part 1 of a Stop & Search evaluation prior to starting the session. 

Of the 4 who completed the questionnaire:

  • No-one had a negative view of Northumbria Police.
  • All participants knew that police have stop & search powers however only 2 felt they knew their rights.
  • 3 felt that that stop & search was used occasionally or rarely in their area.
  • Only 1 had a definite view on the use of stop & search making neighbourhoods safer
  • 1 agreed that stop & search was used fairly by Northumbria Police, 3 others had no definite view. 

Stop & search records for the searches were checked by the group with the accompanying body worn video footage for each record.  Participants did not highlight any concerns with the completed forms but concerns were raised.  When viewing the body worn video footage the general feedback was positive with participants being happy with the behaviour of the officers towards members of the public. It was noted that on occasions not all information from GOWISLEY was provided by the officer. 

Participants were very keen to talk about how searches are conducted by officers. A short exercise was conducted where the group were required to conduct searches on each other for concealed items. They found the exercise useful & had a better understanding of the difficulties faced by officers when dealing with non-passive subjects. 

None of the participants had experienced stop searches. 

All 4 participants felt that the use of Body Worn Video was a good idea and that all officers should use them. 

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