Watchdog warns police on stop and search

By Ian Dunt

Police are harming community relations by stopping and searching members of the public without explaining what they are doing, their watchdog has said.

Mike Franklin, who leads on Stop and Search for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said the power had "a significant impact on public confidence in policing".

He added: "We believe the use of stop and search can be highly intrusive, especially where it does not result in an arrest. [Where] no proper explanation or justification [is] given it can significantly undermine the individual’s and wider community confidence in policing.


“We are committed to addressing issues raised by stop and search and believe when police use these powers they must do so in a way that is demonstrably fair, effective and carries public confidence."

Mr Franklin said most stop-and-searches were conducted in a "considered and professional" manner by police.

Campaigners say pervasive use of stop-and-search, especially against the Afro-Caribbean community, causes resentment towards the police from a young age. Some even consider the practise a right of passage for black youth in the inner cities.