Scrapping the Stop and Account Form

The request was partially successful.

Richard Taylor

On the 7th of February 2008 The Home Secretary announced: "Scrapping the lengthy form used to record Stop and Account. ... This will be initially piloted in three force areas." (

Could you please release:

i/ The identities of the three pilot force areas.

ii/ Details of the trials being conducted in those areas including:
a/ The protocol used in the trial.
b/ The start and end date of the trial period.
c/ If any amendments to PACE code A were made (or (are) required) for the purposes of the trials.

iii/ A list of police forces (other than those in the three pilot force areas referred to above) which have either abolished their stop and account forms or have changed their stop and account protocol in a manner intended to simplify and speed up the stop and account process, along with details of the protocols used.

iv/ Any information on how the results of the official pilots and the unofficial trials will be collated, analysed, and presented to the public along with politicians and members of police authorities.

v/ Any proposed timetable and/or mechanism for "getting rid of Stop and Account forms altogether" (Speech by Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, 24/06/08 - ) .

I note my requests for information on this subject made to the Home Office's FOI request email address on the 20th April 2008 and followed up on the 7th of July 2008 have not been replied to or even acknowledged.

Many thanks,

Richard Taylor

I note that the statutory timescale of twenty working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 has now been exceeded.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Further information on the background to this request is available on my website:

I have also written a letter to my MP on the subject:

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

I have received a letter (via my MP David Howarth) from Tony McNulty, Minister of State at the Home Office. It contains some of the information I requested and is reproduced below:

Dear David,

Thank you for your letter of 6 August to the Home Secretary on behalf of Mr Richard Taylor, of [my address] about the status of the PACE codes. This letter also responds to Mr Taylor's earlier contact with the department.

The introduction and application of the PACE Codes of Practice are subject to the statutory provisions set out in Part VI of PACE. This requires that the contents of the Codes are subject to public consultation and Parliamentary approval before the Code or any revised Code comes into effect.

It is a matter for the chief officer to determine the operational practices within their force area are subject to the provisions of the law. Whilst the Codes deliberately do not have the status of statute, compliance with their content is recognised by the courts as critical in determining the admissibility of evidence. That is why we will be looking to amend PACE Code A when Parliament returns to enable pilot studies to be carried out in four force areas to provide a receipt in respect of encounters carried out under PACE Code A and to record only information on ethnicity. This is to take forward recommendation 24 of the Flanagan Review of Policing. The pilot sites will be in West Midlands, Surrey, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.

We launched a public consultation on PACE in 2007. The final element of consultation on the PACE Review will be launched shortly but it is clear from the responses and consultation taken place to date that there is strong support for retaining the existing statutory framework with supporting codes. This view is widely shared accross the criminal justice system.

Tony McNulty.

I have made the letter from Tony McNulty available as a PDF:

The letter is date stamped: 30 AUG 2008, I received it on the 11th of September 2008.

Richard Taylor