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A Stop and Search presentation delivered by IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor


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A Stop and Search presentation delivered by IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor

  1. 1. The IPCC’s work on stop and search and Schedule 7 Presentation to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Stop and Search Summit, 20 September 2013 Jennifer Izekor IPCC Commissioner
  2. 2. About the IPCC
  3. 3. Our role The IPCC was established by the Police Reform Act 2002 and became operational in April 2004. Our remit includes: • Police officers and staff; • Police and Crime Commissioners and their deputies; • The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and his deputy; • The National Crime Agency (NCA); • Certain non-Home Office police forces (including BTP); • Serious matters relating to HMRC; • Serious matters relating to staff who carry out border and immigration functions who now work within the UK Border Force and Home Office.
  4. 4. Our role Our primary statutory purpose is to secure and maintain public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales. In addition to this our role is to: • Independently oversee the police complaints system; • Investigate the most serious issues, including deaths and serious injuries, serious corruption, and serious criminal offences; • Decide whether allegations that a PCC or their deputy and the Mayor of London and their deputy has committed a criminal offence and should be investigated; • Act as the appeal body for certain complaints; • Identify and share best practice and lessons; • Call in matters where there is serious public concern.
  5. 5. Our purpose and aims
  6. 6. Investigation/resolution • Independent investigation • Managed investigation • Supervised investigation [All of the above involve IPCC staff] • Local investigation • Local resolution
  7. 7. New powers • Power to compel police officers to attend for interview; • Power to allow the IPCC to investigate any matters previously considered by the Police Complaints Authority.
  8. 8. Legislative changes • Extending the IPCC remit to include private contractors; • Giving the IPCC the power to recommend and direct Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures (UPP) following a death or serious injury; • Giving the IPCC the power to acquire material from third parties in relation to complaint and DSI investigations; • Creating a statutory framework for IPCC recommendations; • Removing the requirement for statutory review / oversight from a police officer when IPCC investigators exercise criminal investigative powers under PACE.
  9. 9. Current challenges • Legal framework; • Meeting demand for our services; • Operating under a high level of public and media scrutiny; • Strengthening perception of our independence; • Delivering on changes already identified whilst managing a period of expansion following Home Secretary announcement; • Changing landscape of the police.
  10. 10. Stop and search
  11. 11. The position • Developed in partnership with stakeholders. Launched in 2010 and promoted across the police service. • Sets out how we expect forces to use stop and search powers. • Based around the principles of fairness, effectiveness, and public confidence. • Referenced in investigations and appeals.
  12. 12. Our experience (1) • Volume of complaints is not a good indicator of how well or how effectively powers are being used; • People who have negative experiences often have lowest confidence in the complaints system; • Few stop & search complaints meet the threshold for referral, however some are handled as appeals; • In some areas we have identified problems in the way that complaints are handled.
  13. 13. Our experience (2) • Most complaints relate to how people were treated, and the behaviour of officers; • Sometimes officers use the wrong powers and provide people with incorrect information; • Repeated unlawful use can often go unnoticed because of weaknesses in supervision; • Stories of negative experience perpetuate the public perception that powers are used unfairly.
  14. 14. Our activity • Work locally with forces to raise awareness; • Engagement with ACPO, College of Policing, Home Office, HMIC, EHRC and other stakeholders (including StopWatch); • Involvement in ACPO Police Public Encounters Board; • Feeding into Legislation / Codes of Practice; • Feeding into Authorised Professional Practice (APP); • Feeding into HMIC inspections; • Learning the Lessons Bulletins.
  15. 15. Schedule 7
  16. 16. Background • Stakeholders expressed concerns - despite low levels of complaints, the Commission decided it needed to know more. • May 2011: all forces asked to refer any complaints or conduct matters arising from the use of Schedule 7 powers with effect from 01 July 2011. • Each case now subject to a supervised investigation where the complaint is about the lawfulness of the stop. • Low level of complaints/referrals to date.
  17. 17. Themes (1) • Behaviour of officers, often described as aggressive, threatening and intimidating. • Unhappiness about the encounter taking place in public view, leaving the person stopped feeling humiliated and embarrassed. • Failure of the officers to provide information about why they stopped the person, the power being used, the persons rights and responsibilities and the next stages in the process.
  18. 18. Themes (2) • Failure or refusal of officers to identify themselves, to provide their names, or show identification. • Unhappiness about probing or personal nature of questions and their perceived relevance. • Failure to provide the person being stopped with a written record of the stop. • Failure to provide the person being stopped with any assistance with their ongoing journey if questioning leads to them missing flights etc.
  19. 19. Themes (3) • Perception that officers only stop people based on their appearance and perceived ethnicity, rather than because of intelligence. • Perception that Schedule 7 is being used by officers to gather intelligence, rather than to directly prevent acts of terrorism. • Belief that some people are repeatedly stopped despite no evidence having being found, leading to feelings of victimisation and discrimination.
  20. 20. What is the IPCC doing • Supervision of cases. • Engagement with National Coordinator for Protect & Prepare. • Feeding into Home Office review and other consultations. • Engagement with Govt. Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, EHRC and others. • Study visits to ports. • Engagement with other stakeholders.
  21. 21.