Stop Search & Ride along

There have been enquiries around Stop and Search and the Ride Along Scheme which is being managed through the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner.

Below are details for your information and should you be interested then please contact Jade Stanford, ICV Administrative Officer via email jade.stanford@pcc.kent.pnn.police.uk or tel – 01622 604347.

What is the Ride Along Scheme?

Each Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is required, under the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, to allow independent members of the local community to accompany police officers on patrol to observe stop and search. This is to increase scrutiny of the police’s use of stop and search and to provide reassurance to the community.
In Kent, our volunteers are called Independent Police Observers (IPO).

How does it work?

IPOs will be vetted to Non-Police Personnel Vetting (NPPV) Level 2, which the OPCC will organise. It can take up to 8 weeks for clearance to be granted. Once IPOs have been vetted, the OPCC will tell them when the next available month is for them to undertake a ride along. The OPCC and Kent Police have agreed that only one ride along will take place per month, per division. The divisions are North, West and East Kent. In total, 3 ride alongs will take place across Kent each month. IPOs must declare to the OPCC whether they have any health issues that may affect their ride along or cause complications in an emergency. The OPCC will work with the force and the IPO to accommodate these issues, where possible. Once a month has been agreed, the OPCC will pass the IPOs details to the divisional Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will contact IPOs directly to arrange the date and time the ride along.

It is recommended that ride alongs take place on a Friday or Saturday night when it tends to be busy. Alternatively, the force may want an IPO to go out on patrol when an operation is on, which increases the chance of seeing a stop and search.

In the meantime, the OPCC will send you a copy of the ride along pack. This includes:

  • IPO Policy
  • IPO Standard Operating Procedure (SoP)
  • Appendix A – Police and IPO Guidance and Compliance Checklist
  • Appendix B – IPO Feedback Sheet
  • Appendix C – Generic Risk Assessment
  • Use of Force Briefing Note
  • High-vis jacket

All paperwork must be read thoroughly before the ride along. IPOs should raise any queries with the OPCC as soon as possible. On the day of the ride along, the IPO should take all paperwork with them to the police station. IPOs should wear comfortable clothing and shoes and must wear the high-vis jacket at all times.

The IPO and Police Officer should sign the risk assessment, guidance and compliance checklist and report forms where appropriate. Whilst out on patrol, IPOs should follow guidance from the Police Officers for their own safety. It is worth noting that an IPO may not see a stop & search on their ride along. Therefore, on the feedback sheet, there are two different forms. One is for when a stop and search is witnessed; the other is for general encounters. Should the officer interact with a member of the community, the IPO should report on the conduct of the officer, providing constructive feedback where necessary. Once this form is complete, the form should be passed to the police officer to comment and sign. IPOs may complete multiple forms if they wish.

If no forms are available, IPOs may email the OPCC with this information so it can be logged.

If the IPO feels uncomfortable recording a comment, i.e. as they do not want the officer to be offended, then IPO should email these comments to the OPCC so that they can be logged and fed back.

The OPCC collate all of the report forms and will raise any serious issues with the force and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Want to take part?

If you would like to take part in the scheme, please contact Jade Stanford at the OPCC;
Email – jade.stanford@pcc.kent.pnn.police.uk
Tel – 01622 604347

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