Title of meeting: Bedfordshire Community Stop Search Scrutiny Panel
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Venue: Tokko, Gordon Street, Luton
Attendees: Chair Montell Neufville,(MN Kimberley Lamb VC, Kathryn Holloway Police Crime Commissioner , Ch Insp Hob Hoque, Members Tony Boatswain, Sam Cutler, Peju Akintomide, Julia Inmon, Elice Vincent, Hayley Miller, Anita Powell, , Beccy Donaldson, Florentin Rama , Grace Foster, Kelly Sholzigbade, Usman Ahmed, Lorraine Parkinson, , Andre Peterkin, Patsy Ferguson, Bipin Raja, Shahida Ali, Teresa Pike, Staff Sgt Steve Mosley Insp Ashton Miranda, Insp Jakki Dadd, Kevin Vanderpool (KV) PCCs Office, PC Beccy Donaldson
Key MN: Montell Neufville, KL: Kimberley Lamb, KV: Kevin Vandepool, SM: SGT Steve Mosley, , HH: C Insp Hob Hoque, Member of the public ;MOP AM: Inspector Ashton Miranda
Welcome, Introduction and Apologies
Montell welcomes everyone to the meeting. The panel members introduce themselves.
Minutes and actions from the last meeting
The previous minutes were discussed.
Aims of the Panel KL reminded the panel about the roles of panel members. This included
- Sharing their knowledge of community issues
- Ensuring transparency by holding the force to account by challenging and questioning the use of tactics, reviewing videos and receipt forms. To elect a Chair and Vice Chair
- To provide feedback to members of the community on policing and panel issues
Inspector Ashton Miranda (AM) explained the role of sergeants in checking videos and receipt forms. MN and KL explained that either this did not appear to be always happening. It was difficult to judge if it was a fair and effective stop and search. Action Point HH to speak to supervisors internally.
In previous meetings disproportionality rates had increased to 4:1 mixed race. As this was seen to be high by the panel in September the panel had asked for an investigation to allay concerns that the powers were being used correctly.
A report was not made to the December meeting and at this meeting the Black stop and searches disproportionality rate up to September was 4:1 This too was considered warranting investigation. The panel asked for a report for both sets for the next meeting.
At the March meeting no figures were provided as the panel was advised that of the investigations were not completed
At this June meeting the disproportionality report was still not provided. MN asked for the disappointment in this to be formally noted in the minutes.
Stop and Search data
Item 8 on the agenda was brought forward and KV gave a presentation on the figures.
MN expressed disappointment that the report contained some flaws. , Specifically MN the chair was unhappy with the following;
- The report stated that this is over a 12 month period but the last two months will change. MN had said before the meeting that the last two months (April and May were not accurate. To ensure accuracy the 12 month period to look at should have been March 2017 to February 2018 (not May 2017 to April 2018)
- MN asked what the “two” other columns meant. The first was “outcomes other”. There was no explanation. Action point; Officers asked to investigate and report back. The second other should be other legislation and listed as other legislation Action Point HH to investigate what the other column related to
- MN asked for confirmation that the stop and search related to outcome was accurate. For example for bladed articles there were 120 stop and searches and 20 positive outcomes. The number of stop and searches related to outcome was listed as 9. Action point; Conformation that the “Stop and searches related to outcomes was linked to the positive outcome rate NOT the total number of stop searches –(which it should be. )
- Body warn video rate for February was only 69%. Action Point. An explanation was needed to why this was so low
- Two complaints were listed in the report but they were not brought to the panel. Action point HH to investigate why they were not brought to the panel and to ensure these are looked into by the panel
- The Action taken section at the end; the chair had asked for this not to be presented to the panel as this was for internal police use not for the panel.
The panel engaged in a table top exercise:
Each table was given a bag of marbles. There were 20 in each bag. 20% of the marbles overall were red and 80% other colours. The tables were asked to select 20% of the marbles and told that reds are “More likely to be selected”. Overall in total 50% of the marbles selected were red. MN explains this is how disproportionality occurs through unconscious bias. People were told a colour, in this case red and the seed was implanted in their minds. The analogy to stop and search is when reports and a culture states that “black people are more likely to be stopped and searched” this leads to unconscious bias.
The next exercise was a word crossword to invite participants to understand what GOWISELY and Necessary stood for. Grounds, Objective, Warrant card, Identity, Station, Entitled, Legal, You
A member expressed that he thought police officers stopped and searched based on appearance. It was noted that this could be his experiences but the practice was against the code of practice.
Video one: Officer collar PC6921
Group Review and Feedback
Graded as Amber by the panel
Key points noted
- Section 1 of PACE, not explained clearly should have been better explained
- The females being searched were left too exposed, i.e searching bra wires and under skirts in public, contrary to the code of practice. The Member of the public should have been taken to a less public place
- The officer should have searched the babies pushchair when it is known offenders may hide items in there
- English not being the subject’s first language but no attempt to get any sort of interpretation
- Too many officers for the level of offence – disproportionate use of resources
Video two: Officer Collar 6651
Group Review and Feedback
Graded as Red by the panel
Key points noted
- The panel considered this to be below the standard required of a police officer to conduct a stop and search
- Made no attempt to explain GOWISLY before searching the members of the public’s bags and possessions.
- Officer was intimidating towards subjects, demanding to know if it was her baby she was with and behaved inappropriately
- Montell and Hob will provide feedback to both Officers and their supervisors around the videos that have been viewed.
Community issues / concerns re Stop & Search
Section 60 and complaints
The panel can look at any complaints made against police in relation to a stop and search.
Police can increase stop searches in a certain area if they think it is necessary in a 12 hour period, under Sec 60 powers.
Section 60 authorisations need to be notified to the panel .No section 60 authorisations have been made in the past year
Complaints relating to stop and search need to be advised to the panel. No complaints have been notified to the panel in the past year. The chair was concerned that there were two complaints and they were not fed into the panel. This is an urgent action that needed to be investigated.
Promoting the Panels work – communications plan
There were three suggestions to promote the panels work
- Link to the internal communications team. MN said this was already done
- Go into schools and colleges. MN said this was done for two years whilst funding allowed. Over 2,000 students took part
- Use social media. MN said this was done, using Facebook and twitter
Panel members were invited to apply to go on a ‘ride along scheme’ with Beds Police officers. The ‘ride along’ may not involve a stop search if it is not necessary for one to be made. There is a waiting list, however Community Scrutiny panel members get priority.
MN talks about feedback that he has received from people who have been on the ‘ride along scheme’ as a positive and informative exercise and also offers further training at the end of June.
New youth IAG discussed with similar connotations around the ways to recruit young people. Suggested that role play exercises in schools could help give kids an idea of a good/ bad stop and search procedure.
Actions and Issues to feedback
Request to be made to provide positive outcome rates, broken down by ethnicity. Completed by sergeant SM
Any other business
Closing comments from Chair and expenses, DONM
Expenses claim forms can be completed to reimburse travel, parking etc for attending this meeting.
The next meeting will be 4 September at Project 229, Bedford