West Yorkshire Police are to implement new stop and search policy immediately

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MEASURES designed to stop the abuse of police stop and search powers will be implemented by two of the region’s forces from today.

The Best Use of Stop and Search scheme aims to combat criticism that the power is used too widely and that it disproportionately targets ethnic minorities.

A new code of practice has been drawn up which will see the outcome of every stop and search recorded by police, whether the outcome relates to the initial reason given for the search or not.

Forces have also agreed to limit the use of “no suspicion” powers, which give officers the right to carry out a stop and search in a designated location without specific grounds.

A third measure will mean the public has the right to observe stop and search in practice.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced that all 43 of the country’s forces have agreed to adopt the voluntary code in full by November.

But 24, including West Yorkshire and Humberside, will introduce the recording and “no suspicion” elements immediately.

West Yorkshire’s temporary Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle said they have independent scrutiny panels which look at stop search activity to assess how officers have used these powers and whether the use was appropriate.

He said: “The scheme will ensure that we continue to make improvements in the way we use our stop and search powers.”