People who have been stopped and searched by police officers in Northamptonshire are being asked to share their views in a new survey.
The survey is being carried out by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to find out more about people’s perception and experience of police stop and search powers.
The OPCC is inviting anyone who has been stopped and searched by the police, or anyone else who has an opinion about police stop and search powers, to take part in the survey
The questionnaire takes about five minutes to do and can be completed online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/StopandSearch. There will be a free prize draw for all those taking part.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds is urging people to share their views.
He said: “My aim is for Northamptonshire to be the safest place in England and it is important that local people have the opportunity to have their say and contribute to decisions made about policing in the county.
“The use of stop and search can be a controversial subject. When used effectively, it helps to detect crime and make communities safer. However, its use can also have a big impact on trust and confidence in the police, not only for the individual involved but it can also affect perception among the wider community. We want to find out what the people of Northamptonshire think.
Helen Cook, public involvement manager for the commission, added: “While stop and search can affect anyone, we’d particularly like to hear from young people, as almost two thirds of those stopped and searched last year were aged between 13 and 24.
“We’re being supported by Groundwork Northamptonshire, Clubs for Young People (CYP), Service Six and the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Club (NAYC).
“As well as promoting the online survey, youth workers from these organisations will be out in the community talking directly to young people and seeking their views.”
“At the same time, we know a lot of other people will have an opinion, maybe from having seen or heard about a family member or friend being stopped and search or just from having read about it in the media.
Supt Andy Cox, lead for the Force’s stop and search working group welcomed the survey.
He said: “During 2013, Northamptonshire Police officers stopped and searched more than 9,000 people.
“This is a valuable piece of work that will give us a better understanding of people’s experience of being stopped and searched.
“The findings will also help us check the correct procedures are being followed by our officers and ultimately improve the service provided.”
The survey will be available online until Monday, 14 April.
Have you been stopped and searched? Do you think it was fair? Email our newsdesk with your opinions.