Bedfordshire Police have topped all other UK police forces by having the best stop and search record in the country.
A recent inspection found they carried out stop and searches with reasonable grounds 95.8 per cent of the time. The UK average was 81.7 per cent.
The exceptional score means they’ve topped all 43 police forces across England and Wales. Officially, this means they’re the best at ‘recording and utilising reasonable grounds to suspect, as the objective test to use when instigating a power to search.’
Superintendent Ian Taylor, Bedfordshire’s stop and search lead said he was ‘immensely proud’ of the results of the HMICFRS (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services) inspection.
He said: “Every police officer who puts on the uniform in Bedfordshire knows how important it is that we use stop and search in a fair, legitimate and professional way.
“All our frontline officers have undergone specialist training with our community scrutiny panel as well as the Children’s Society to understand how different people might react to stop and search.
“We have among the lowest levels of disproportionality in stop and search of all UK police forces, while our independent scrutiny panel has been highlighted by the Criminal Justice Alliance as an example of best practice for other areas to follow.
“I hope these results go some way to reassuring our communities about how seriously we take our responsibilities around stop and search.”
He said enormous progress had been made in how they train, deliver and scrutinise stop and search in the last 18 months.
However, he acknowledged there was still progress to be made, particularly around building trust and confidence within communities.