North Yorkshire Police have adopted a new code of conduct restricting officers to use their powers to stop and search members of the public much less frequently.
All 43 police forces in England and Wales have agreed to the new government code which will mean police will now record every outcome resulting from stop and search.
At present, someone may be stopped under ‘Section 60’ powers without grounds for suspicion in a situation where serious violence is anticipated.
However. under the new scheme, officers will only be able to use the “no suspicion” Section 60 power when it is “necessary” to prevent serious violence.
Components of the new scheme will be introduced later this year.
Chief Inspector, Mark Grange, who is the operational lead for stop and search at North Yorkshire Police, said: “We have already made significant progress in the lead up to the introduction of the scheme and have put a number of the new strands into practice, including the recording more data and management dip-sampling of recorded searches to ensure they comply with best practice.
“We have also begun work on the mapping process and the community trigger policy.
“Stop and search is a valuable tool which helps the police do their job. It’s important that it is used correctly and that our communities understand why it is used.
“The new scheme will improve the standard of the stop and search and will make the process more transparent for members of the public.”
In April Home Secretary, Theresa May, said stop and search had become an “unacceptable affront to justice” after it was revealed 27 per cent of searches did not contain reasonable grounds for suspicion.