Hertfordshire police now meet stop-and-search rules

Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd

Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd - Credit: Archant

Police in Hertfordshire have tightened up on their use of potentially divisive stop-and search powers, an official inspection has found.

In 2015, the force suffered a rap over the knuckles from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which found officers were not properly recording and publishing the results of searches.

At that time, an investigation by The Independent newspaper found that a black person in Hertfordshire was 3.2 times more likely to be searched than a white person.

Police critics have argued that the powers are open to abuse, and unfair concentration on ethnic minorities damages community relations.

But now, after a follow-up inspection in November 2016, the Inspectorate has found that Hertfordshire police fully comply with the rules.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is a significant coercive power and my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan makes a commitment that it should be used properly in Hertfordshire.

“I hold the chief constable to account for doing so and I have set up an independent scrutiny panel to provide regular public feedback.

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“I am pleased that HMIC has recognised the effectiveness of the work we are doing.”