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Concern over stop and search

The Force has been graded as "good" in a PEEL review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The latest PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) inspection saw inspectors consider the Force's legitimacy.

Leicestershire was one of 35 forces nationwide to receive the "good" assessment with only one - Kent - being judged as "outstanding" and six viewed as "requires improvement".

But, in the national overview, inspectors said while forces are committed to sustaining and improving the trust and confidence of the public, they risk damage to their relationships with local communities by continuing to be unable to demonstrate fair use of stop and search. They also said national guidance on spit guards would be beneficial. With 19 forces using spit guards as of 31 January 2017, they found significant variation in their use.

The inspectors said Leicestershire:

  • Is "good" at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect;
  • Is "good" at how it ensures its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully; and
  • Is "good" at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

HM Inspector of Constabulary ZoŽ Billingham said: "The Force treats the public fairly and with respect, having worked hard to identify and understand the issues that have the greatest effect on public perceptions of fair and respectful treatment. The Force uses internal and external scrutiny to improve how it treats people. It works well with the independent advisory group, which provides valuable, well-informed feedback, external oversight and challenge on a wide range of issues.

"The Chief Constable, his top team and leaders across the Force act as role models, and care about the workforce. The Force considers ethics and values when it makes decisions that affect the whole workforce.

"The Force recognises that there is disproportionality in the ethnic mix of its workforce and is supporting applications from under-represented minority groups. The Force also makes excellent provision for the welfare and wellbeing of its workforce."

Nationally, the report found that police leaders continue to have a clear understanding of the value of treating the public with fairness and respect, and they are succeeding in establishing this approach throughout their workforces. Forces are increasingly providing training in unconscious bias and communication skills to improve their interactions with the public and enhance the public's perception that they are treated fairly and with respect.

The report also highlights further progress required from some forces on:

  • Compliance with national vetting policy;
  • Complaint handling, especially in responding to and investigating discrimination complaints appropriately;
  • Performance management for officers and staff; and
  • Access for officers and staff to wellbeing provision and support.

The report makes a formal recommendation around the use of stop and search powers. Forces should implement further training to tackle unconscious bias and should develop a more comprehensive set of data and information to understand fully, and address if necessary, any reasons for disproportionate use of stop and search. Forces should publish their analysis and any resulting action taken at least on an annual basis from July 2018.

PEEL: Police legitimacy 2017 - Leicestershire Police

PEEL: Police legitimacy 2017 - A national overview