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Top black cop to lead national stop and search reform

REFORMS: Chief Inspector Nick Glynn

A LEADING police officer from the Leicestershire force has been chosen to head a review of the way stop and search is used across the country.

Chief Inspector Nick Glynn was chosen after the home secretary Theresa May said that the tactic was being used to unfairly target ethnic minorities.

Glynn already advises Leicestershire Police on how the policy is applied. The senior officer has himself been stopped and searched 30 times while off-duty by officers from other forces. He has been seconded to the College of Policing to help lead the changes.


At present, officers can stop an individual if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they are carrying illegal drugs, a weapon, stolen property or something which could be used to commit a crime.

However, they can also stop and search someone without suspicion that they are involved in wrongdoing, if approved to do so by a senior officer.

Glynn said: “People are rightly concerned. We know we need to make some changes. Over 50 per cent of searches are focused on street possession of drugs and we need it to be more focused on the big priorities like violent crime.”

He added: “I have my own personal experience of being stopped and I'm now in a position where I can have more of an influence on it."

Mrs May has said she is prepared to change the law if the number of searches deemed illegal did not drop.
In April, she said that when misused, stop and search was an “enormous waste of police time" and “hugely damaging to the relationship between police and the public".

She told MPs that an inquiry had found 27 per cent of searches, in England and Wales, may have been illegal.
Leicestershire Police was criticised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2010 for disproportionately using the tactic on black males.

From the start of 2011 Glynn led Leicestershire Police’s Stop & Search project, and supported work undertaken by De Montfort University, which examined police use of the tactic.

Leicestershire’s Chief Constable Simon Cole said since reducing the number of searches, arrests have doubled, indicating the force is using the technique more effectively.

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