Stroud Against Racism's response to the Gloucestershire Constabulary Stop & Search report.
SAR has to praise the Constabulary for releasing this long awaited report, warts & all.
Although these historic ethnicity figures are similar to those presented by other forces, be under no illusion, they are poor. We believe that the picture is actually worse than shown, due to data integrity issues in the 2018/19 period specific to Gloucestershire.
Continued work with the Community Legitimacy Panel is welcomed and we want to see the positive words backed up by resources and funding to facilitate improvement.
In addition to the changes to the stop and search form we would like to see additional improvements too:-
- the scrutiny panel having the ability to scrutinise body worn video without any barriers (vetting).
- making the scrutiny panel aware of current disproportionality statistics.
- allowing members of the public to speak to officers during training about their experiences of having stop & search or force used on them along with training on unconscious bias.
SAR is disappointed that stop search scrutiny panel has been cut back from monthly to quarterly. Meetings may be 30 mins longer but overall this means less time for scrutiny and therefore less transparency. This needs addressing.
Disproportionality was lower than the county as a whole in the counties most diverse ward. This is a positive sign and we are certain lessons can be learnt.