Home Secretary Theresa May had said the technique was being misused so often that it was damaging relations between the public and police.
Police will now record every outcome resulting from stop and search.
There will also be more limits on using the controversial “Section 60” stops.
Unlawful Stop and Search
Officers will need higher authorisation than at present to deploy Section 60 powers, under which someone may be stopped without grounds for suspicion in a situation where serious violence is anticipated.
Police will also soon allow public observers to watch stop and search in operation.
Next year, police will start mapping where the practice is used so people can see if one area is targeted more than others, and the public will be entitled to know why this is the case.
The changes are being brought in after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found that 27% of stop and searches did not satisfy the requirement that there be “reasonable grounds for suspicion”, meaning more than 250,000 of the one million searches conducted last year could have been illegal.
The adoption of the Best Use of Stop and Search code comes as the Metropolitan Police said it used Section 60 powers after violent incidents at the Notting Hill Carnival in London on Monday.
Ken Hinds, a member of the London borough of Haringey’s stop and search monitoring group, does not believe the new code will be enough to change attitudes in some areas.
Mr Hinds says none of the 125 stop and searches he has been subjected to in the last 30 years has resulted in police finding he has done anything illegal.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “After 40 years of abuse of stop and search, we now refer to it as stop and scarred in our community. It has alienated whole swathes.”
Best Use of Stop and Search code
- Record the outcome of stops in more detail to allow assessment of how forces interpret the rules
- Record a broader range of outcomes, including penalty notices and cautions, to help understand how successful each stop and search is
- Allow members of the public to apply to accompany officers on patrols
- Make forces explain publicly how stops are used if they receive complaints over a set “trigger” level
- Only use the “no suspicion” Section 60 power when it is “necessary” to prevent serious violence
- Raise the level of authorisation required for Section 60 powers from police inspector to an officer above the rank of chief superintendent
- Limit the initial use of Section 60 powers to 15 hours, from the existing 24 hours, and “communicate with communities” about the purpose and success of such use
Read the full story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28923242