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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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stop and search

Red tape on stop and search to be cutRichard Ford, Home Correspondent
Form-filling by police officers who stop and search people on the streets is to be drastically reduced under plans to be announced next week to reduce the red tape in policing.

The proposals will include reducing the “foot-long” form that officers must fill in when they stop and search an individual on suspicion of possessing stolen goods, drugs or weapons. Another form that officers must spend seven minutes completing when asking someone to account for their behaviour or presence in an area may by scrapped altogether.

In a further move to reduce the time spent on form filling, officers will be given palm-held devices to punch in details of stop and searches and more detailed forms will be completed by nonuniformed staff in police stations. Officers may also be given digital recorders.

The proposals come after a review of the bureaucracy in the police by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, which is due to be published next week. Under existing powers a chief superintendent has the power to authorise stop and searches in a designated area if there is a reasonable belief that violence may take place. The power lasts for 24 hours and has been used in Birming-ham, Manchester, London and Liver-pool in recent months to tackle gun and knife crime.

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Although the Conservatives and the Government were engaged in a political race yesterday to be the first to back a shake-up of the law, what neither party is suggesting is a return to the old “sus” law, under which the police could stop and search on the basis of mere suspicion. Police officers will still have to have a “reasonable suspicion” to carry out a stop and search for drugs, weapons and stolen goods.

Massound Shadjareh, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, gave warning that relaxing restrictions on police stop-and-search powers risked a return to the bad old days. “When you look at the effectiveness of stop and search as a tool, it has had a very small impact,” he said. “There is no evidence that shows that stop and search has been successful in fighting knife crime.”

He added: “Stop and search is already alienating communities and has done in the past. That is why we had the Macpherson report. Why do we have to go back to the old days?”

Jan Berry, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Any moves to cut bureaucracy, restore the discretion police officers can exercise and inject some common sense back into policing is to be welcomed.

“Police officers should be accountable for actions they take, and these forms are as much about protecting officers as they are about protecting the public. But officers should be allowed discretion as to when to record stop and encounters.”

She added: “Recording stop and search is different though, as it involves contact with people and is a statutory requirement, but common sense and discretion should prevail as to how much detail is required to be recorded.”

Under suspicion

1824 Vagrancy Act makes it illegal for a suspected person or reputed thief to frequent or loiter in a public place with intent to commit an arrestable offence

April 1981 Simmering resentment over the “sus” law, under which police used power of 1824 Act to stop and search on basis of suspicion, erupts into rioting in Brixton, South London

November 1981 Report by Lord Scarman into the riots leads to scrapping of sus law

1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act introduced new rules for stopping and searching, requiring “reasonable suspicion” that an offence had been committed

1999 Macpherson report into 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence recommended that all police stops needed to be recorded

April 2005 Recommendation comes into force

2006 Home Office figures show that black people were seven times more likely than whites to be stopped and searched

2007 Interim review by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, of policing suggests that bureaucracy of recording stops and searches can be reduced



Have your say

As a young police officer in 1981 I was told on my first ever foot patrol that the key to earning the respect of my colleagues was stop and search. I soon realised that street robberies, burglaries and many other crimes are split second affairs that don't often happen right in front of a uniformed police officer. The use of stop and search however meant that the police had a chance of catching the criminals as they moved around the street with the tools or proceeds of their crime.
Over the past three decades stop and search has been increasingly curtailed, particularly in the inner city areas where it is most needed. It now seems that some of our politicians want to turn the clock back. If they do I am sure our cities will be safer in the future and perhaps people will realise that the police had the right tactics all those years ago.

Mark Griffiths, London, UK

A police officers duty is to prevent crime and persue those who break the law.

If as a result of crime profiling, statistical analysis, observations, convictions or whatever a section of the community are identified as being more likely than others to commit an offence - surely the police can reasonably target that section.

Whether it's pensioners abusing the disabled blue-card system, youngsters buying alchohol or boy racers doing handbrake turns on a housing estete!

Black, white or anything in between - male, female or anything in between - English, Australian, budhist, scientologist, Innuit, vicar, MP, ayatollah, Peruvian, journalist, or Lord High Executioner. If they are carrying weapons or going equipped the police must be allowed, nay encouraged, to stop, question and search if appropriate with a minimum of restrictions or paperwork.

The alternative is unthinkable.

R Bingham, Lauzun, France
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:07 PM
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I assume the 1824 Vagrancy Act really cuts down on your time outside for fresh air........................
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:26 PM
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They should clean up their OWN house first. It's so dirty.

Noted that the so called "Islamic Human Rights Commission" (sic) is the biggest complainant and keenest observer of the British police..

Funny, that.

UFB, actually.

They should take a look at the shocking and unbelievablly awful abuses and judicial violence committed in the name of Islam, such as fathers murdering their daughters for going in Western dress, not wearing the hijab, listening to western music and such.

What a bunch of Fucking hypocrites.

Jim
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Last edited by cascade; 02-01-2008 at 04:29 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm bit too well healed to be mistaken for someone from the projects or a village in some god forsaken butt hole like the Punjab, no this act is needed to stop the aforementioned killing each other as it happens.
The latest was a lad David Nowak who was the 17th teenager to be stabbed to death this year. Eight others have been shot dead and one was beaten to death. The average age of victims is 16 with the youngest being 14. The Met-Police has launched a series of crackdowns on the carrying of weapons but admits it is struggling to curb the capital's youth gang culture.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Von Vorschlag View Post
I'm bit too well healed to be mistaken for someone from the projects or a village.
If we ever do meet up , personally, I have always been a sucker for stelittos.............

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