Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner has welcomed the increased use of stop and search powers by Cleveland Police – a key target in his Police and Crime Plan.
The number of stop and searches conducted by police in Cleveland that resulted in illegal items being found has increased by a quarter in the last 12 months.
Data to March 2023 shows Cleveland Police officers conducted 7,136 searches between April 2022 and March 2023 – an increase of 14.3 per cent from the 12 months prior.
44 per cent of all searches resulted in an item being found, whether it was the original item officers were looking for, or another illegal item.
Steve said: “Cleveland residents regularly tell me that they want to feel safer in their communities, with more visible and proactive policing.
“I’ve been really impressed with the Force’s efforts under Chief Constable Mark Webster to take a more proactive approach to stop and search – resulting in more searches and more illegal items being found.
“It sends a message to residents that Cleveland Police are proactively seeking to disrupt crime networks and gangs, to make the area safer for everyone.”PCC Steve Turner
A more proactive approach to policing
New Government data revealed that 100,000 weapons were removed from Britain’s streets since 2019 – almost half of which were seized in stop and searches.
Cleveland Police’s Proactive Team was established last November, making more than 300 arrests since its inception seven months ago – averaging 42 arrests a month.
These results were achieved through targeted proactive patrols, utilising stop and search powers, and targeting outstanding suspects on behalf of specialist investigative teams such as CID, Domestic Abuse Unit and Children and Vulnerable Adults (CAVA).
Superintendent Marc Anderson, Cleveland Police’s lead on stop and search, said: “By stopping the right people in the right places, we have seen an increase in positive results from these searches.
“Ultimately, we want to prevent crime and keep the public safe. Stopping those acting suspiciously means that officers can make those checks to ensure that they have done everything in their power to achieve this.Superintendent Marc Anderson, Cleveland Police
“Stop and search removes the threat from the streets of Teesside, by catching criminals carrying knives or going equipped to steal.
“The high positive outcome rate also demonstrates that our searches are legitimate and officers are targeting the right people with justification for these searches.
“The robust scrutiny we have in place ensures that stop searches are carried out fairly and reasonably, so that we can use these powers effectively to target those suspected to be involved in criminal activity.”
Measures are in place to ensure the use of search powers by police are legal, safe and proportionate.
In Cleveland, a stop and search scrutiny panel made up of community representatives examine real stop and search cases to ensure they were conducted lawfully. Any recommendations from the panel are fed back to Cleveland Police’s officers and staff for organisational learning.
The panel is currently recruiting new members – interested community members can register at the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/tLWGNUk88G