Since 2016, Wiltshire Police has run a Stop Search Scrutiny Panel to review police actions taken in relation to searches, considering the legality, proportionality, and necessity of stop searches.
In 2020 this was expanded to include ‘Use of Force’ and allow for further transparency in the use of powers that may be considered contentious.
Wiltshire Police also have a panel scrutinising the use of Out of Court Disposals (OOCD) which is a method of resolving an investigation for offenders of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour such as graffiti and low-level criminal damage, when the offender is known and admits the offence.
Click on the drop downs below for answers to some commonly asked questions.
Panel attendees are members of public with a keen interest in policing practice and help by giving us their views and opinions on the use of Stop Search and Use of Force in their communities and includes assessment of officers’ body worn footage.
We actively seek the opinion of a group of volunteers who support us as a 'critical friend' by reviewing our use of Police Powers, such as Stop Search and the Use of Force and Out of Court Disposals.
Independent scrutiny helps Wiltshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to understand areas of concern and to highlight best practice. This in turn, improves the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our policing services in the communities we are here to serve. Through transparency and openness, our Police Powers Scrutiny Panel helps us to:
There are a few criteria to apply. For the Use of Force Scrutiny panel, you must be over 18 and live or work in Wiltshire, and you may also be required to undergo vetting.
Anyone can volunteer to attend the panels. We want you if you are interested in the treatment of people during their interactions with police.
We are particularly keen to recruit younger members and those from diverse backgrounds. Panel members are given inputs and training to assist them in understanding the demands on officers in these testing areas of policing.
The Police Powers Scrutiny Panel, which includes Stop Search and Use of Force, meets every 6 weeks, in person at Devizes Police HQ which you will be expected to attend. The Out of Court Disposal Panel is held quarterly and is currently being trialled via Microsoft Teams. There is some pre-reading required for this panel which is sent out 7-10 days prior to the meeting.
If you are interested in applying for this role, please submit a CV no longer than two pages in length, together with a supporting letter. This should indicate why you are interested in this role and highlight your skills and experience in respect of requirements of the role, as detailed on the website. These should then be emailed to [email protected].
Recruitment for these roles will be closed once we have filled the available vacancies therefore we encourage anyone interested to apply as soon as they can.