Northumbria Police: "We take the power of stop and search very seriously"

Northumbria and Cleveland Police forces were among 5 in the country - out of 43 - that 'require improvement' in their use of stop-and-search powers.

They issued a response stating 'We accept most of the findings of this report and acknowledge that at the time the inspection took place there were areas for improvement in Northumbria Police.'

Since then they have issued a further comment in response to the report's findings:

We want to reassure people that we take the policing power of stop and search very seriously in Northumbria.

We recognise it is an issue that can cause concern in our communities if it is not carried out appropriately, courteously and professionally.

However, it is a valuable tool which we use when necessary to tackle crime in our communities.

It helps us to eliminate innocent people from our enquiries as well as enabling officers to protect the public.

We recognise the need to make further improvements in our compliance with the Best use of Stop and Search scheme.

We have already taken active steps to ensure we become fully compliant with HMIC recommendations and are now seeking to make further improvements, such as the introduction of a Youth Scrutiny Panel.

It is important to us that we operate ethically, fairly and within the law and ensure that our response to stop and search is legitimate and with the consent of the public.

The HMIC report recognises the changes the force has made in recent months and we will continue to progress to seek further improvements.

– Chief Constable Steve Ashman, Northumbria Police