Best Use of Stop and Search revisit – Merseyside Police
In 2014, the Home Office and College of Policing launched the Best Use of Stop and Search (BUSS) scheme. The scheme aims to achieve greater transparency and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers, and to support a more intelligence-led approach, leading to better outcomes.
The scheme sets out guidance on:
- data recording and publishing;
- the introduction of lay observation policies to allow members of the public to accompany officers on patrol when they might observe stop and search powers being used;
- the introduction of a community complaints trigger, a complaint policy which triggers explanation to local communities when large numbers of stop and search-related complaints are received;
- reducing the use of stop and search powers under section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; and
- monitoring the impact of stop and search on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
In 2015, HMIC assessed the compliance with each feature of the scheme in each of the 43 Home Office-funded forces in England and Wales, as part of our 2015 PEEL Legitimacy inspection. That inspection identified that:
- only 11 forces were complying with all five features of the scheme;
- 19 forces were not complying with one or two features of the scheme; and
- 13 forces were not complying with three or more features.
Merseyside Police was one of the 19 forces not complying with one or two features of the scheme. The letter below sets out the findings of a revisit inspection to assess Merseyside’s compliance with the scheme.