Stop & Search Community Scrutiny Panel

Hertfordshire Independent Stop and Search Community Scrutiny Panel (HISRCSP)

Hertfordshire Independent Stop and Search Community Scrutiny Panel (HISRCSP) offer’s an independent view of the tool’s use across Hertfordshire, and to ensure that Stop and Search (S&S) is used appropriately.

The HISRCSP meets every monthly and is run by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).  The monthly meetings are not open to public, but the change in HISRCSP governing “Terms of Reference” will try and host one annual event where the panel will invite community members in 2021.

HISRCSP randomly selects a number of Stop and Search forms from individuals identified as White British, Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and Other White to analyse and discuss at the meeting. The group also reviews stop and search body worn video.

The group reviews the ‘reasonable grounds’ for the Stop and Search, with a view to ensuring that the grounds are lawful, do not demonstrate any bias, either conscious or unconscious, and are as specific and objective as they can be. Any positive comments are also passed on, for example when a form is clearly written or is based on well-described suspicious behaviour.

The group also question the role of the supervising officer who oversees the way that S&S forms are completed. Sometimes forms are signed off when they could be written in a way which more clearly identifies the reasonable grounds for the S&S. If the supervising officer can feed this back to the police officer then the HISRCSP hope that any future S&Ss carried out by that officer will be of a higher quality.

If you ever get stopped and searched, just remember GO WISELY.  These are the basics that police officers should be doing. If they do not, it could result in an unlawful and unnecessary search.

G: Grounds for the search
O: Object the officer is searching for
W: Warrant, particularly if the officer is in plain clothes
I: Identification, proof that the officer is indeed a police officer!
S: Station to which the officer is attached to
E: Entitlement, any citizen being searched by a police officer is entitled to copies of all paperwork
L: Legislation, the legal power which gives the officer the right to stop and search
Y: YOU are being detained for the search or for the purpose of…essentially informing the citizen in no uncertain terms the purpose and nature of the search

For more information about your rights: https://y-stop.org/

You have the right to a copy of information about you that Hertfordshire Constabulary hold (with certain exemptions). Click link:  https://www.herts.police.uk/Apply/Apply-shared/Access-your-personal-data

The Information Commissioners Office also has some useful information. https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/crime/

 

Point of information:  The Hertfordshire Stop and Search Community Scrutiny panel is appointed and managed by the Police Commissioner’s office.