Response to Criminal Justice Alliance super-complaint
Criminal Justice Alliance Super Complaint into Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and Independent Community Scrutiny of Stop and Search.
The City of London Police welcomes the recommendations provided by the Criminal Justice Alliance Super Complaint and continues the process of reviewing and developing our training, procedure and communications linked to the use of Stop and Search and Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. As per recommendation 10, it is incumbent on forces to publish their response to the recommendations and plans of action within 56 days of receiving the recommendations. Below is the force initial response to the police specific recommendations. These actions are in progress and an update will be placed on the website by 14th June 2024 to summarise the progress made. Oversight of such recommendations is placed within the Strategic Development area in order to ensure a strategic approach to continuous improvement for Section 60 which will leave a legacy to ensure it is maintained.
By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure their forces review the content of training on section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and how they provide it. The review should consider current national police curriculum requirements and the adequacy of force training for:
• officers who may be required to authorise section 60s;
and • officers who may be required to conduct section 60 stop and searches. T w ’ section 60.
The force is compliant with APP when concerned with the provision of training around stop search and use of section 60. All officers receive a in-depth initial input on this training when joining the force. Refresher training for front line officers is delivered through ‘bitesize’ training refresher mandated as ongoing professional development.
Action: L& OD : The force by June 2024 will update the command training given to officers above the rank of Chief Inspector and Superintendent, to ensure that officers of this authorising rank are complaint with the use of section 60.
Recommendation 3. Chief constables
By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure briefing and debriefing m ’ section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 are thorough and in line with Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code A and authorised professional practice content and guidance. Chief constables must make sure section 60 authorisation briefings are recorded. This may be as a written briefing. But formal verbal section 60 authorisation briefings should be given on audiovisual devices such as body-worn video or approved handheld communication devices. They should be capable of being recorded as part of the policing operation and be subject to scrutiny. Section 60 briefings to officers who are required to use their stop and search powers should include information on: • the relevant law and guidance;
• the particular grounds for authorising the use of section 60 stop and search powers;
• all relevant and current information and intelligence;
• the geographical area covered and time limitations authorised;
• all relevant community information (including policing history) and any community impact assessment;
• how any debriefing and force learning will be conducted; and • the importance of recording all section 60 stop and search encounters on body-worn video in their entirety.
The City of London Police has put one section 60 authorisation into effect in the last three years making it difficult to assess the successful implementation across a long period of time.
The section 60 authorisation process is fully set out within the force Stop and Search Policy with all associated powers. It clearly sets out actions that should be taken when authorisation is given. However the power does not currently provide guidance on the briefing of staff in relation to this power. It does ensure that all stop searches conducted under the power are effectively flagged electronically in order to allow future scrutiny.
Action: by Jume 2024 the Local Policing Strategic lead for stop and search to consider additions to the stop and search policy to cover the briefing process.
Action: L& OD : The force by June 2024 will update the command training given to officers above the rank of Chief Inspector and Superintendent, to ensure that officers of this authorising rank are compliant with the use of section 60.
Recommendation 4. Chief constables
By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure all officers who may exercise stop and search powers understand, and comply with, their responsibility to safeguard children who are stopped and searched. In doing so, chief constables should make sure that: • in line with the national policing curriculum, officers undertaking searches are appropriately trained to take the necessary steps to minimise any emotional harm that may be caused through these encounters;
• their force has processes in place to assist appropriate safeguarding referrals when children are stopped and searched;
and • there is robust checking and assessment of all such searches that takes account of the safety and welfare needs of the child.
Following the child Q publication the force ensure that officers gave consideration to adultification during stop searches. Force wide communications went out across multiple systems including briefing, inputs, newsletters and news articles to ensure staff were aware of the requirements to complete a child coming to notice form for every interaction with a child. In addition L&D officers attended adultification training to understand this issue and it was incorporated into the stop and search training provided to officers to ensure it as a consideration. A three year review of all strip searches on children was conducted and any without appropriate safeguarding requirements were subject to the Practice Requiring Improvement Process. Senior leads for Criminal Justice and Stop and Search complete a quarterly review of all child strip searches. In addition all child stop searches form part of the data set reviewed by the force IASG. They can choose to deep dive into these through a review of all associated documentation and video evidence to ensure appropriate scrutiny in this area.
Action: By June 2024 L&D leaders to review Stop and Search training to ensure that it is fit for purpose in relation to child protection.
Recommendation 5. Chief constables
By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure forces effectively communicate with communities and interested parties on the police use of section 60 stop and search powers. This should include:
• making sure communications reach the communities most likely to be affected by the section 60 authorisation and checking their communication strategies were effective;
• publicising details to inform the public, give reassurance and maximise any deterrent effect;
and • reporting back to communities and interested parties on operational outcomes.
On a quarterly basis the force will report all use of section 60 for external review by the IASG. When s60 is deployed in a live time environment the force will update the relevant social media channels.
Action: By June 2024 force communications team to liaise with head of stop and search to ensure that there is a consistent process to communicate to the public regarding use of section 60 authorisations
Recommendation 7. Chief constables
By 14 June 2024, chief constables should satisfy themselves that their force gives community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) all relevant information to help them scrutinise police stop and searches and other police actions arising from section 60 authorisations. This should include:
• the grounds and underlying reasons for the authorisations;
• any recordings of briefings;
• written records of searches;
• information about the outcomes of searches;
and • body-worn video footage of entire encounters. In addition, chief constables should satisfy themselves that their force incorporates feedback from community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) when evaluating and m ’ 60.
On a quarterly basis the force IASG receive a strategic document and presentation from the Local policing senior lead from stop search .this gives a breakdown of all stop and searches or use of section 60 with the statistical analysis from the previous quarter, this includes breakdown by protected characteristic as well as details of use of force.
On a monthly basis the membership receive the details of every stop and search from the last month , as well as any section 60 authorisations and an choose to review any or all of these as a group. This includes review of the stop search form or authorisation, body worn video, associated use of force forms or other relevant documentation such as statements.
Action: whilst the monthly review of stop search/ section 60 provides a community scrutiny function, at this time there is no formalised mechanism by which this feedback is bought back in to the force, nor how it is used. Within 6 months the P&T force lead and the IASG chair will work to formalise this process to ensure that scrutiny is worthwhile and effects continuous improvement within the force.
Recommendation 8. Chief constables and police and crime commissioners (or equivalents)
By 14 June 2024, chief constables and where applicable police and crime commissioners (or equivalents) should make sure their forces work in partnership with community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) to:
• review panel membership and vetting arrangements to remove any unnecessary barriers to recruiting panel members;
• promote the recruitment of culturally diverse members, with a particular focus on representing, involving and retaining those from under-represented communities and young people;
• promote the representation, involvement and retention of those who have been stopped and searched;
• make sure the force gives community scrutiny panels information on the police use of force, including handcuffing, relevant to the police use of stop and search powers;
• make sure they support and help community scrutiny panels to review section 60 authorisations, searches, community impact assessments and associated complaints;
• give members appropriate training and support to help them effectively carry out their role scrutinising all stop and searches, taking account of the effect the role could have on them;
and • provide the right level of police representation at panel meetings to support and individual officer and organisational learning.
CoLP Independent Advisory and Scrutiny Group (IASG) has recently had a large turnover of membership. The new chair understands the importance of diversity of panel memberships and is working to develop the representation of the group to better reflect the community it represents. This remains a key priority for the chair of the group. The force lead for professionalism and trust will continue to assist the chair in this development.
CoLP has created a youth Independent advisory Group, made up of young people up to 19 years of age. This allows focus on stop search, use of force and other powers from a youth perspective and will be a key tool in expanding the diversity of scrutiny memberships.
Action: within 6 months the diversity of the IASG membership will b reviewed and consideration given to its appropriate representation of the community. If further diversity is needed the chair and P&T lead will give consideration to how to best progress this. Provide overview of our ISG diversity
Action: by June 2024 the force will review the terms of reference for the youth IAG to consider how it can most effectively assist in the review of police stop and search powers, as well as determine if representation is appropriate to the community that it serves.
Recommendation 10. National Police Chiefs’ Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Home Office and chief constables
Within 56 days of the publication date of this report, forces should publish on their websites an explanation of how they have responded or will respond to them
City of London Police has published its initial review document in line with the timeframes required by the recommendations.
Action: The force will ensure that this document is updated by the deadline of 14th June 2024 with all progress made in order to keep the public informed on how CoLP have responded.