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The Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme requires police forces to provide opportunities for members of the public to accompany police officers on patrol when they might deploy stop and search powers.

By introducing 'lay observation', a process of two-way learning can take place, bringing the police closer to the public.

In this way, the Lay Observer Scheme will mean:

  • Members of the public are provided with the opportunity to see stop and search in action;
  • The police have the opportunity to demonstrate their use of stop and search;
  • The public has the opportunity to provide feedback to the police based upon their observations.

Applicants will need to be voluntarily vetted prior to being approved to accompany an officer. Applicants will also need to be flexible regarding the hours they accompany an officer, and the area where they patrol, although we will endeavor to find an area close to their home address.

Please note that the following restrictions apply:

  • Applicants who are under the age of 18 will not be considered for this scheme.
  • Participants will be restricted to one observation every six months.
  • Applicants must reside within the Cumbria Constabulary geographical boundaries.
  • Applicants must have no serious or recent convictions that may be considered to pose a security risk. The decision as to whether an individual poses a security risk will be at the discretion of Cumbria Constabulary following vetting procedures.
  • Applicants are not entitled to reimbursement of any expenses incurred in connection with this scheme.
  • Applicants must not already be members of Cumbria Constabulary - this includes police volunteers, staff and special constables.

To apply to join the Lay Observer Scheme within Cumbria Constabulary, please complete the application form below:

  • About You
  • Name
  • Address