Police admit 'terrible mistakes' when using stop and search powers

Police admit 'terrible mistakes' when using stop and search powers

Police admit 'terrible mistakes' when using stop and search powers

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

TOP police officers have admitted they have made some “terrible mistakes” when using powers to stop and search people suspected of criminal activity.

Senior figures at Greater Manchester Police were quizzed by a panel, led by police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd, about the controversial powers panned as “discriminatory” by community leaders at Manchester Town Hall.

Police can stop and search someone if they reasonably suspect a person is carrying stolen goods, drugs, an offensive weapon such as a knife, or items that could be used to damage property.

Out of 2,493 stop and search orders carried out in Bolton between April 2013 and March 2014, just 192 — equivalent to 7.7 per cent — resulted in an arrest. More than 1,400 led to no further action.

And the proportion of black people stopped was more than double the population estimate in Bolton.

At the meeting youth leaders voiced concerns that stop and search was leading to a mistrust of the police, and led young men to feel discriminated against and stigmatised in their communities.

Assistant Chief Constable of GMP, Garry Shewan, said they were working to address officers “unconscious bias” that could lead to people wrongly being targeted.

He added the force has clamped down on units being given targets for the numbers of stop and searches carried out.

Ass Ch Con Shewan said: “I think we have to accept that even until recently we have made some terrible mistakes.

“Officers were given targets in relation to stop and search.

“It was completely unacceptable. We became too obsessed with figures and targets.

“We stopped that as soon as we became aware of it.”

Mr Lloyd said he will now examine suggestions on how to make stop and search more effective.

This includes more training so officers understand there had to be enough intelligence to stop someone in the street.

There were also calls to improve the complaints system, educate youngsters on legislation and encourage them to use camera phones to film officers as they searched them.

Mr Lloyd said: “What is clear is that if I wanted to address, when I took on this role, the single biggest source of mistrust between the police and the community, stop and search would be very high on that list.

"It does matter having an adult conversation about this and making the changes that matter.”

Comments (12)

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8:35am Wed 18 Jun 14

Chrome1 says...

And can you imagine the 'terrible mistakes' that are presently taking place when carrying out their other duties.
And can you imagine the 'terrible mistakes' that are presently taking place when carrying out their other duties. Chrome1
  • Score: 1

9:01am Wed 18 Jun 14

ghijkl says...

I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.
I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem. ghijkl
  • Score: 12

9:27am Wed 18 Jun 14

Wolfie190 says...

When the rapist, murderer, drug dealer and mugger is black then the police must look for a black person as a suspect and if they need searching then so be it. Crime is crime black people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime especially the crimes above shouldnt be above the law because of the colour of their skin thats racist.
When the rapist, murderer, drug dealer and mugger is black then the police must look for a black person as a suspect and if they need searching then so be it. Crime is crime black people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime especially the crimes above shouldnt be above the law because of the colour of their skin thats racist. Wolfie190
  • Score: 16

9:56am Wed 18 Jun 14

Brumas says...

ghijkl wrote:
I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.
I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry.
[quote][p][bold]ghijkl[/bold] wrote: I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.[/p][/quote]I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry. Brumas
  • Score: 10

10:54am Wed 18 Jun 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Brumas wrote:
ghijkl wrote:
I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.
I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry.
It still does not give them the right to harass innocent people. What the police need are more effective methods of identification.

I totally agree that the police should have the ability to stop and search 'genuine' suspects. But all to often they abuse their powers of stop and search to harass as they are clearly admitting in their OWN report.
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ghijkl[/bold] wrote: I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.[/p][/quote]I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry.[/p][/quote]It still does not give them the right to harass innocent people. What the police need are more effective methods of identification. I totally agree that the police should have the ability to stop and search 'genuine' suspects. But all to often they abuse their powers of stop and search to harass as they are clearly admitting in their OWN report. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -6

12:22pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Farnworth Lady says...

I personally have never had any problems with The Police.
I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like.

I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.
I personally have never had any problems with The Police. I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like. I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide. Farnworth Lady
  • Score: 6

12:47pm Wed 18 Jun 14

cliff4treasurer says...

I've never been stopped or searched but that's probably because I don't wander aimlessly round the streets after dark or ride a bike wearing a hoody ,trainers, shell suit etc. etc.
If you have nothing to hide what's the problem and if the police can stop a couple of thousand drivers for random breath tests and catch 20 people drink driving so be it, the % guilty is even lower but I don't see innocent drivers complaining?
More power to the police and less apologising please.
I've never been stopped or searched but that's probably because I don't wander aimlessly round the streets after dark or ride a bike wearing a hoody ,trainers, shell suit etc. etc. If you have nothing to hide what's the problem and if the police can stop a couple of thousand drivers for random breath tests and catch 20 people drink driving so be it, the % guilty is even lower but I don't see innocent drivers complaining? More power to the police and less apologising please. cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 11

12:57pm Wed 18 Jun 14

655321 says...

Farnworth Lady wrote:
I personally have never had any problems with The Police.
I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like.

I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.
Drug running perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]Farnworth Lady[/bold] wrote: I personally have never had any problems with The Police. I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like. I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.[/p][/quote]Drug running perhaps? 655321
  • Score: 5

3:35pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

ghijkl wrote:
I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.
Because as an innocent member of the public who remonstrates with their over zealous use of power you will find yourself deprived of your liberty or forced to endure an act of violence.
[quote][p][bold]ghijkl[/bold] wrote: I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.[/p][/quote]Because as an innocent member of the public who remonstrates with their over zealous use of power you will find yourself deprived of your liberty or forced to endure an act of violence. Comment777
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

Brumas wrote:
ghijkl wrote:
I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.
I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry.
This a voluntary type of search. If you do not fly you are not searched. If I was dropping off a family member at the airport and a request to search me was made I would refuse. However, if I am flying I co-operate completely with the security staff. They know the type of person they are looking for and in so doing protect the aircraft, me and the other law abiding passengers...
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ghijkl[/bold] wrote: I think they should have the powers to stop and search regardless of them having suspicions. If you've got nothing to hide what's the problem.[/p][/quote]I agree, just like being searched at the airport, rather be safe than sorry.[/p][/quote]This a voluntary type of search. If you do not fly you are not searched. If I was dropping off a family member at the airport and a request to search me was made I would refuse. However, if I am flying I co-operate completely with the security staff. They know the type of person they are looking for and in so doing protect the aircraft, me and the other law abiding passengers... Comment777
  • Score: 4

3:42pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Comment777 says...

Farnworth Lady wrote:
I personally have never had any problems with The Police.
I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like.

I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.
Unroadworthy vehicles...
[quote][p][bold]Farnworth Lady[/bold] wrote: I personally have never had any problems with The Police. I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like. I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.[/p][/quote]Unroadworthy vehicles... Comment777
  • Score: 1

5:42pm Wed 18 Jun 14

mr.mark.c says...

Farnworth Lady wrote:
I personally have never had any problems with The Police.
I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like.

I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.
That is not stop and search, that is a VOSA checkpoint and trust me, you do not want your car,lorry,bus checking at the side of the road by them, they tend to go above and beyond the call of duty and dish out defect notes like confetti.
Yes I know a defect is a defect and the law is the law but imagine if it was private vehicles they was checking, I bet 90% would fail.
[quote][p][bold]Farnworth Lady[/bold] wrote: I personally have never had any problems with The Police. I have nothing to hide, so they can stop and search me anytime they like. I have however heard Taxi Drivers warning each other over the Radio, when I have been travelling by Cab, about where the stop and searches are - so they must have something to hide.[/p][/quote]That is not stop and search, that is a VOSA checkpoint and trust me, you do not want your car,lorry,bus checking at the side of the road by them, they tend to go above and beyond the call of duty and dish out defect notes like confetti. Yes I know a defect is a defect and the law is the law but imagine if it was private vehicles they was checking, I bet 90% would fail. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 0

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