Stop and search scrutiny

This week we held our independent Legitimacy Scrutiny Panel which undertook a dip sampling of Gwent Police’s recent stop and search logs, and reviewed body worn video from stop and search incidents.

The purpose of the Legitimacy Scrutiny Panel is to ensure that the stop and search incidents, and incidents where there was a use of force – such as use of handcuffs - are conducted fairly and effectively, and that any issues are identified and dealt with appropriately.

Gwent Police will regularly review these incidents internally, however, the panel, which consists of my team, community members, and senior officers, provides an additional layer of scrutiny to the process.

I receive the outcomes and recommendations from these sessions to review, and the final report is provided to Gwent Police to consider and action as appropriate. Progress against the recommendations is monitored at Gwent Police’s internal scrutiny meeting.

Some of the outcomes seen as a result of this work include better recording of people’s ethnicity, feedback where the grounds for stops and searches were weak, and identifying opportunities for improvements in the way people have been treated.  The panel has also provided substantial feedback to highlight examples of good grounds and excellent engagement by officers during incidents, particularly from body worn video footage.

It is just one of the ways in which I hold Gwent Police to account on behalf of the public, and ensure an efficient and effective service.

You can view the reports from these panels on my website