WMP and Home Office changes to Section 60 search guidance
West Midlands Police will continue to work closely with and consult with our communities over the use of stop and search powers.
The force has been selected for a Home Office pilot which makes it easier to authorise section 60 powers to assist in tackling knife crime.
These allow officers to stop and search people without the need to show reasonable grounds.
Despite the planned pilot, the force has said it doesn't anticipate any change to the way it currently implements these powers without liaising with communities first.
Chief Superintendent Danny Long said: “West Midlands Police is one of seven forces included in the Home Office pilot for changes to current section 60 search deployment.
"The new Home Office guidance has proposed to reduce the level of authorisation required for a Section 60 search from senior officer to inspector. It also lowers the degree of certainty required by an authorising officer to carry out a s60 search so they must reasonably believe an incident involving serious violence ‘may’, rather than ‘will’, occur.
“While we welcome and note the proposed changes suggested by the Home Office, we want to reassure the public and our partners that we will not be changing our position on s60 searches without first consulting with our communities and scrutiny groups who we have worked closely with on the introduction of s60 searches and stop and search in general over the last few years.
“We will continue to work with the public to understand the impact of the tactic and ensure appropriate management and scrutiny of the WMP use of s60 is in place.”