Stop and search
To help prevent crime and protect the safety
of the public, Suffolk Police officers can stop people and ask them
to account for themselves in some circumstances. However, before a
search is carried out, a police officer must be able to explain on
what basis they are searching you.
The confidence of local people is crucial to
good policing and the use of stop and search has the potential to
have a big impact on how the local community views the
In Suffolk, a larger number of people from a Black or Minority
Ethnic (BME) background are stopped and searched compared to those
who are white. This has lead to an ongoing programme of work to
address this disproportionality and ensure the trust communities
have in the policing service is not compromised.
We have worked with the Ipswich and Suffolk
Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) to produce a new form which is
simpler and quicker for police officers to use, and also allows the
force to review the way searches are carried out.
In addition there are two important groups that work very closely
with the police to ensure the Constabulary’s use of Stop and Search
is fair and effective:
- The Suffolk Constabulary Stop and Search Improvement
Partnership is chaired by a member of the Police Authority and
oversees the delivery of an action plan focussing on inspiring
confidence, training and communication, monitoring and supervision,
data recording and performance.
- The Stop and Search Reference Group is
made up of people from local communities mainly from BME groups.
The group scrutinises draft forms and offers invaluable insight and
advice enabling the police to continue to improve the trust and
confidence of BME communities regarding Stop and