Your chance to help ensure stop and search is used fairly in Dorset

Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill is seeking volunteers for the newly developed Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel.

Your chance to help ensure stop and search is used fairly in Dorset

The panel has been established to increase transparency and public confidence, review existing police processes and highlight any lessons to be learnt. It will operate alongside three further scrutiny panels, which look at police use of force, customer service and out of court disposals. 

Members of the Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel will meet on a quarterly basis and summaries of each meeting will be published on the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner’s website. Findings and recommendations will also be presented to the Dorset Police Standards & Ethics Board and the Equality & Confidence Board, as well as being shared with the Force’s operational lead for stop and search. 

Volunteers must be aged 18 and over, English speakers and have no involvement in the criminal justice system. They must have been a UK resident for 3+ years and must live or work in Dorset. Although this is a voluntary role, members will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses. 

Dorset PCC, Martyn Underhill, said: “Stop and search is a valuable tool in tackling criminal and drugs-related activity. However, it is important that the use of these powers are scrutinised to identify areas of concern or good practice.  

“The panel will critically review elements of policing work to gain a better understanding of trends and patterns in relation to the use of stop and search powers by Dorset Police. The force uses the feedback to ascertain whether policy changes, further guidance, or officer training, are required to improve their use of stop and search.

“I am confident that the panel better enables me to hold the Chief Constable to account and will in turn improve public confidence in this area.”

Successful panel members will be provided with detailed training to ensure they have a good command of the stop and search processes and procedures. This will include observing police training and stop and search in action in order to enhance their knowledge. 

The application form can be downloaded from the OPCC website, just go to dorsetpcc.police.uk and search for ‘volunteering’. It should be returned to pcc@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by post to OPCC, Dorset Police HQ, Winfrith, Dorset, DT2 8DZ, by Monday 12 February 2018

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