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Stop Search Strategy

V1 22/04/2016


Stop and search is a significant police power and it is essential that it is exercised in a fair and effective way in order for the community to have confidence in its use and as a consequence, wider policing. This strategy document outlines the vision, objectives and actions required in order to address the issue raised and allow for greater transparency and accountability to the communities we serve.

Strategic Aim

The effective use of stop and search is a vital tactic for Cambridgeshire Constabulary to use to keep the public safe and prevent crime. Whilst using this tactic we aim to achieve greater transparency, to promote community involvement in the use of stop and search powers and to support a more intelligence-led approach, leading to better outcomes and increased community confidence.


That the communities of Cambridgeshire will have complete confidence in the use of stop and search powers to prevent and detect crime, through increased transparency, increased community involvement and the fair and effective application of the law.

Our objectives

We will:

  • ensure that our searches are intelligence led and are based upon genuine and objective reasonable suspicion;

  • increase the proportion of effective searches

  • ensure all stop searches are necessary and the most proportionate they can be;

  • ensure that the community have confidence in the quality of the encounter during our use of stop and search;

  • ensure that our officers understand how the community feel about our use of stop and search;

  • establish effective community scrutiny of our use of stop and search;

  • maintain effective internal scrutiny of our use of stop and search;

  • make accurate stop and search data accessible to the public;

The key components in delivering this model are:

  • Confidence, Accountability, Transparency
    • Staff and Public Awareness
    • Practical Application
    • Scrutiny
    • Supervision and Audit

Staff and Public Awareness

  • ensure the full range of outcomes are recorded and publicised both internally and externally
  • ensure a lay observation scheme is in place
  • ensure all relevant stop search data is available on Police.Uk


Practical Application

  • show the link, or lack of one, between the object of the search and its outcome
  • develop a mobile data solution which is fit for purpose and compliant with BUoSSS
  • increase use of Body Worn Video during stop search encounters
  • ensure a consistent approach to ‘strip’ searches.
  • ensure officers receive relevant training around the use of stop and search
  • ensure officers understand and apply a ‘fair and effective search’ on every occasion
  • ensure officers apply the National Decision Model prior to undertaking every stop and search


Supervision and Audit

  • monitor the Impact of stop and search – particularly on young people, Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups.
  • improve the effective supervision of stop search encounters
  • ensure supervisors are consulted prior to the strip search of a child
  • undertake further analytical work to better understand the use of stop search



  • ensure there is a robust and representative public scrutiny mechanism in place
  • establish a robust Community Complaints trigger mechanism
  • establish a Reasonable Grounds scrutiny panel.



Governance will be provided by a Gold group chaired at ACC level.

Gold Group Attendees:

  • ACC
  • Strategic Lead for stop search
  • Tactical Lead for stop search
  • Head of ICT
  • Media representative
  • Local Policing representatives
  • Learning and Development lead or representative

Progress against objectives will be managed via an ongoing Action Plan reviewed by the Gold group.

Strategic lead – Supt. Jon Hutchinson

Tactical lead – T/Ch Insp Ian Ford

Community Scrutiny Group Chair – Ellis Weinberger


Desired Outcomes

  • every stop and search within Cambridgeshire Constabulary is conducted in a fair and effective way, by properly trained officers, who use the National Decision Model before utilising the power and is robustly supervised.
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary comply with all aspects of the Best Use of Stop Search Scheme (BUoSSS)
  • the community have confidence as to how stop and search is conducted within Cambridgeshire and there is a mechanism in place which allows scrutiny, concerns to be raised and the impact of stop search on the young, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people to be monitored.
  • the proportion of positive outcomes arising from stop searches increases.
  • there is greater understanding as to where and why stop search is undertaken and that underlying disproportionality is eradicated.
  • accurate stop and search data is accessible to the public.


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