Top cop outlines 'stop and search' powers

Top cop outlines 'stop and search' powers

Reporter:

Paul Miles

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Top cop outlines 'stop and search' powers

Police powers to 'stop and search' members of the public must be used in the correct way, the top police chief in the Thames Valley has told the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

A Home Office consultation is currently taking place on the issue of stop and search as it looks into the appropriateness and effectiveness of the police technique.

Chief constable Sara Thornton CBE QPM was speaking at the council's crime and disorder panel meeting at Maidenhead town hall on Thursday where she was responding to questions from councillors and borough residents.

"We have done a lot of work on stop and search over the last few years," she told councillors at the meeting.

"It can be very effective."

As it stands, police are free to stop and search anyone provided they have reasonable grounds for suspecting they will find stolen or prohibited items.

But the chief constable warned against its misuse and stressed all of its officers were clearly trained in how and when to apply the technique.

"We have done a lot of work on stop and search over the last few years," she added.

"We want them to be effective as possible, as proportionate to the population and dealt with lawfully.

"Stop and search can be really useful but if you misuse it you can loose the power."

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