Recommendation 1. Chief constables By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure their forces review the content of training on section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and how they provide it. The review should consider current national police curriculum requirements and the adequacy of force training for: • officers who may be required to authorise section 60s; and • officers who may be required to conduct section 60 stop and searches. The review and any associated actions should be proportionate to each force’s use of section 60.
Our Superintendent lead for stop and search has reviewed our section 60 training provision and will continue to do so on at least an annual basis. We now include a mandatory training input for all new recruits and additional content is delivered to all newly promoted sergeants.
This year the internal review has been supplemented by a peer review undertaken by colleagues in the West Mercia force.
Recommendation 3. Chief constables By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure briefing and debriefing arrangements for their force’s activities under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 are thorough and in line with Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code A and authorised professional practice content and guidance. Chief constables must make sure section 60 authorisation briefings are recorded. This may be as a written briefing. But formal verbal section 60 authorisation briefings should be given on audiovisual devices such as body-worn video or approved handheld communication devices. They should be capable of being recorded as part of the policing operation and be subject to scrutiny. Section 60 briefings to officers who are required to use their stop and search powers should include information on:
• the relevant law and guidance; • the particular grounds for authorising the use of section 60 stop and search powers; • all relevant and current information and intelligence; • the geographical area covered and time limitations authorised; • all relevant community information (including policing history) and any community impact assessment; • how any debriefing and force learning will be conducted; and • the importance of recording all section 60 stop and search encounters on body-worn video in their entirety.
On reviewing this recommendation, we have found that briefings in Cheshire are provided but not all are recorded.
Our Superintendent lead for Stop and Search has made a policy decision on this and from January 2024 we will ensure that all briefings are recorded. We have updated our policy, and the changes will be communicated via weekly orders and updated training packages.
We have also updated our briefing template to ensure that all the bullet points from recommendation 3 are included.
We have reviewed our debriefing arrangements and are satisfied that we already comply with this element of the recommendation. All S60s are fully debriefed, and a record is attached to the Niche occurrence. Debrief actions are incorporated into our Stop and Search continuous improvement plan.
Excerpt from Stop and Search Policy:
Cheshire Constabulary intelligence briefing systems must be regularly refreshed, providing frontline officers with up-to-date intelligence, supporting them in preventing and detecting crime.
Section 60 authorisation briefings must be recorded. This may be as a written briefing. But formal verbal section 60 authorisation briefings should be given on audiovisual devices such as body-worn video or approved handheld communication devices (Briefings can recorded on teams if that is the platform used to brief officers). The briefings should be available for review and scrutiny by attaching the recording to the s60 OEL. This also applies to any formal debriefs relating to S60’s.
Section 60 briefings and debriefs with officers who are required to use their stop and search powers should include information on:
• the relevant law and guidance; • the particular grounds for authorising the use of section 60 stop and search powers; • all relevant and current information and intelligence; • the geographical area covered and time limitations authorised; • all relevant community information (including policing history) and any community impact assessment; • how any debriefing and force learning will be conducted; and • the importance of recording all section 60 stop and search encounters on body-worn video in their entirety
Recommendation 4. Chief constables By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure all officers who may exercise stop and search powers understand, and comply with, their responsibility to safeguard children who are stopped and searched. In doing so, chief constables should make sure that:
• in line with the national policing curriculum, officers undertaking searches are appropriately trained to take the necessary steps to minimise any emotional harm that may be caused through these encounters; • their force has processes in place to assist appropriate safeguarding referrals when children are stopped and searched; and • there is robust checking and assessment of all such searches that takes account of the safety and welfare needs of the child.
Our Superintendent lead for stop and search has reviewed this recommendation, and we are satisfied that we comply. We have built compliance into our new stop and search app, so officers undertaking stop and search including section 60 encounters are prompted to consider the vulnerability of all subjects, but especially children:
Vulnerability Prompt in App – Does the person stopped have any vulnerabilities that require VPA/safeguarding referral? Yes or No (if so submit VPA).
Where vulnerable children are identified, it is mandatory for officers to complete and submit a vulnerable person assessment (VPA). This. Along with other safeguarding measures have been built into policy.
Our Op Protected ensures that additional safeguarding options are considered when we come into contact with Children who may be at risk of exploitation through so called county lines drug dealing.
Excerpt from Op protected guidance:
When officers stop & search a young person who is not with their parent/guardian or carer, then the officers should make reasonable attempts to notify a parent/guardian or carer as soon as practicable that the CYP has been searched and the reasons for the search and document this in their pocket notebook. This may be by phone or in person. Where it has not been possible to contact a responsible adult, the officer should document what attempts have been made and submit a VPA. A VPA must be submitted for all searches involving a child, including searches of involving EIP or where force was used to facilitate the search.
In addition to this, any key vulnerability factors identified during the search must be subject of a VPA to ensure the right support is in place for the child; these could be, but not limited to, Neurodiversity issues, risk of CE/CSE, medical or special education needs, physical disability or child in care/subject of child protection plan or where the officer has been unable to secure the attendance of an AA or the AA in uninterested in the search of the child (think of the wider impact on the child in that setting when at home).
In line with recommendation 1, we will continue to review our training provision and will include this recommendation in our evaluations.
Recommendation 5. Chief constables By 14 June 2024, chief constables should make sure forces effectively communicate with communities and interested parties on the police use of section 60 stop and search powers. This should include: • making sure communications reach the communities most likely to be affected by the section 60 authorisation and checking their communication strategies were effective; • publicising details to inform the public, give reassurance and maximise any deterrent effect; and • reporting back to communities and interested parties on operational outcomes.
Our superintendent lead for stop and search has reviewed this recommendation, and we are satisfied that we comply.
Details of section 60 searches are communicated via our social media channels as soon as is practicable. We also publish section 60 debriefs on our force website. We hold community cohesion groups (CCG) – a form of external scrutiny - in all 9 of our local policing areas. We ensure that section 60 debriefs relevant to each local policing area, are included on the agenda for the respective CCG.
We include communication with communities as a standing agenda item in our section 60 debriefs. Compliance failures are documented in the Force continuous improvement plan and in line with recommendation 1, are worked into the training for new inspectors.
Recommendation 7. Chief constables By 14 June 2024, chief constables should satisfy themselves that their force gives community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) all relevant information to help them scrutinise police stop and searches and other police actions arising from section 60 authorisations. This should include: • the grounds and underlying reasons for the authorisations; • any recordings of briefings; • written records of searches; • information about the outcomes of searches; and • body-worn video footage of entire encounters. In addition, chief constables should satisfy themselves that their force incorporates feedback from community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) when evaluating and improving the force’s use of section 60.
Our Superintendent lead for stop and search has reviewed this recommendation and has concluded that we do not fully comply with this recommendation. As a result, we are reviewing the requirement to include recordings of briefings and BWV footage to our Police Accountability Meeting (PAM).
Example from PAM:
Stop Search Data Report – Section 60
Page 18 (Point 1) Section 60 Volumes
There were 111 Section 60 stop searches in the latest quarter in Congleton (89) & Crewe (22). Searches in Crewe were in Nantwich were conducted on 17/09/23 in relation to Males with Machetes & possible Firearms. Searches in Congleton were in Sandbach and conducted between 22/09/23-24/09/23 in relation to intel of weapons being bought in for a fight.
Page 18 (Point 2) Section 60 Outcomes
In most searches (131, 84.5%), Nothing found- No Further Action was the outcome. Police action was taken in 15.5% of searches (24).
Recommendation 7 has also been remitted to a superintendent lead for external scrutiny, including community cohesion groups who will ensure that the points from this recommendation are incorporated into our legitimacy framework.
Recommendation 8. Chief constables and police and crime commissioners (or equivalents) By 14 June 2024, chief constables and where applicable police and crime commissioners (or equivalents) should make sure their forces work in partnership with community scrutiny panels (or their equivalents) to: • review panel membership and vetting arrangements to remove any unnecessary barriers to recruiting panel members; • promote the recruitment of culturally diverse members, with a particular focus on representing, involving and retaining those from under-represented communities and young people; promote the representation, involvement and retention of those who have been stopped and searched; • make sure the force gives community scrutiny panels information on the police use of force, including handcuffing, relevant to the police use of stop and search powers; • make sure they support and help community scrutiny panels to review section 60 authorisations, searches, community impact assessments and associated complaints; • give members appropriate training and support to help them effectively carry out their role scrutinising all stop and searches, taking account of the effect the role could have on them; and • provide the right level of police representation at panel meetings to support and advise as required, and to make sure the panel’s feedback helps to improve both individual officer and organisational learning.
Our superintendent lead for stop and search has reviewed this recommendation and has concluded that we do not comply in full.
We are working with the University of Chester to set up a youth only stop and search / use of force scrutiny panel involving law students from a range of diverse backgrounds and incorporating a new and improved “ride along” scheme. In light of this report, we have decided to include section 60 stop and search within the remit of the new panel.
This recommendation has also been remitted to a superintendent lead for external scrutiny, including community cohesion groups who will ensure that the points from this recommendation are incorporated into our legitimacy framework.
Recommendation 10. National Police Chiefs’ Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Home Office and chief constables Within 56 days of the publication date of this report, forces should publish on their websites an explanation of how they have responded or will respond to the recommendations. Forces should send the National Police Chiefs’ Council links to where this information can be found.
Responses will appear on the Super complaints page on the website.
Super-complaint made by Liberty and Southall Black Sisters about the police sharing immigration data.
Our response to recommendations - 2nd December 2021
Response to recommendations made in the report to the NPCC and HMICFRS.
The constabulary has been advised that the NPCC has worked closely with the Home Office and relevant NGOs in a series of workshops exploring the implications of a firewall and examining all possible solutions with the goal of increasing the confidence to report for all victims with an insecure immigration status. Those workshops have concluded and the Home Office is due to publish its review before Christmas. Once the outcome of the review is known, the NPCC will then continue to work with the Home Office to deliver those outcomes and update the current safeguarding and information sharing protocol with Immigration Enforcement. The Constabulary is therefore awaiting the outcome of the Home Office review and the subsequent update to the safeguarding and information protocol before taking any further action. We will, of course, ensure that the protocol is adopted as soon as it is made available to us.
Cheshire Cares is Cheshire Constabulary’s commissioned victim support service. It provides victim support for all victims of crime and for those needing more bespoke victim services seeks to signpost them onwards to specialist resources or organisations. There is no disparity in service towards any victims, including those who may have varying immigration status.
Cheshire Constabulary works in close partnership with the four local authority Independent Domestic Violence Advocate Services (IDVA) who are fully cited on the super complaint and the recommendations made therein. They have confirmed that the referral of Domestic Abuse victims to them for the police and other agencies, and the service they provide thereafter, is in no way influenced by the individual’s immigration status.
As per our response to recommendation 1 (above) we are awaiting the outcome of the Home Office review and the subsequent update to the safeguarding and information protocol. We will work with our partners to ensure that the protocol is adopted as soon as it is made available to us.
As per our response to recommendation 1 (above) we are awaiting the outcome of the Home Office review and the subsequent update to the safeguarding and information protocol. We will ensure that we adopt the protocol as soon as it is made available to us.
We will then seek to maximise communication and engagement opportunities with the public in order to increase confidence regarding safe reporting pathways.