Hundreds of success for police stop and search checks – without any complaints

Success: Stop and search checks have revealed many offenders in South Yorkshire
Success: Stop and search checks have revealed many offenders in South Yorkshire

Police conducted more than 2,000 ‘stop and search’ checks in the period between April and November last year with further action taken in almost a third of all cases.

Senior officers believe that demonstrates the checks – which have a controversial history – are being targeted accurately by officers on the streets, which is backed up by the fact there have been no complaints made by any of those involved.

The stop and search tactic went out of fashion when the Government issued advice earlier in the decade that it should be used with caution, as a result of complaints minority communities were unfairly affected.

But that advice has now been reversed and in South Yorkshire it is recognised as an effective tool in tackling many different forms of crime, including identifying those who carry knives.

Between April and November 2,278 checks were carried out with 393 people arrested as a result.

But action was taken on 723 of the occasions people were stopped, with 44 more being cautioned, 95 drug warnings issued, 33 penalty notices for disorder handed out and 118 people summoned to court.

There were also 40 community resolutions completed as a result of the police action.

Checks for stolen property accounted for 37 per cent of the searches, with police suspecting drugs on 28 per cent of occasions.

Searches for offensive weapons made up 24 per cent of the checks, with suspicions of carrying guns accounting for another 17 per cent.

A report to South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said: “Effectively, we find the items sought in 27 per cent of all stop and searches carried out.

“We are keen to increase the effectiveness of stop and search.

“We continue to be part of the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme.”

Front line police have been supported by force management, with an internal campaign to spell out the tactics they should use for stop and search. That is now to be refreshed to ensure the force gets maximum benefit from the system.

Work is to be done in Barnsley this year with a youth engagement panel, looking at education and consultation around stop and search.

That is to be done in conjunction with the sixth form college.