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His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) responds to our super-complaint regarding Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and independent community scrutiny of stop and search. The CJA’s 2021 super-complaint called for the repeal of Section 60 powers, emphasising the need for a review of the legislation’s effectiveness.

HMICFRS report acknowledges issues of police non-compliance with legal and best practice frameworks but falls short of advocating strongly for a robust mandatory framework.

In this report, we explore the effectiveness of independent monitoring boards (IMBs) at monitoring outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in prison. We surveyed IMB Chairs and board members with responsibility for monitoring equalities issues in prisons holding women. We found some examples of IMBs assisting in improving conditions for and treatment of Black, Asian and minority ethnic women. However, there are still key challenges for Board members to effectively monitor outcomes for women from minority ethnic backgrounds, such as cultural and language barriers, inconsistent equalities data and the limited resources and expertise of IMBs.

This report is part of a three-part collaborative project, Towards Race Equality, between the CJA and IMBs.

Report 1 outlines the findings of over 260 survey responses from Black, Asian and minority ethnic women, including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women and foreign nationals, held in prison about their experiences.

Report 2 outlines the challenges that equality staff working in prisons holding women face, and the solutions they have implemented in their respective prisons.

The Executive Summary of the Towards Race Equality project contains our overarching conclusions and 26 recommendations for urgent change.

In this report, we explore the effectiveness of independent custody visitors at monitoring race and gender equality in police custody. We found some examples of positive work by independent custody visitors to improve the treatment and welfare of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and women in police custody. However, a number of custody visitors lack understanding of institutional racism and discrimination, and custody visiting schemes need to be more racially diverse to better reflect the people detained in police custody. We also found a range of systemic barriers preventing custody visitors from monitoring race and gender equality effectively.

In this response to Phase Two of the Strategic Review of Policing, the CJA discusses trust and confidence in policing, the need for improved internal and external scrutiny around the use of police powers,  improving diversity in the police force, and what the future of policing might look like.

In this response to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on Strengthening the Independent Scrutiny Bodies through Legislation, the CJA discusses how scrutiny bodies such as the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards could be strengthened. The CJA also considers the advantages and disadvantages of England and Wales adopting the ‘Scottish Model’, where scrutiny is merged under one body.

This briefing sets out key principles and recommendations for good practice around community scrutiny of stop and search. The briefing is a result of a survey sent to all police forces in England and Wales and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders.

This briefing recognises a fresh approach to criminal justice policy is long overdue and suggests twelve problem areas within the adult criminal justice system that need urgent attention in the new parliament.