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Forces to produce annual reports on stop and search ethnicity


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Inspectorate says that reasons for disproportionate targeting of black people must be explained.

Forces to produce annual reports on stop and search ethnicity

All forces must be able to demonstrate their use of stop and search powers is reasonable and fair by the middle of next year.

HMICFRS says the over-representation of black people as subjects of the tactic must be explained.

By July forces in England and Wales will have to publish an analysis of their stop and search stats, explaining the reasons for any disproportionality.

They will have to continue to do this on an annual basis.

In its PEEL legitimacy inspection report the inspectorate notes the rate at which the ethnicity of those searched is “not stated” in data collections range from 1 to 31 per cent across different forces.

The inspectorate also found that searches of black people for drugs are less likely to find anything than those of white people.

The report says: “The disparity in find rates is troubling; it suggests that the use of stop and search on black people might be based on weaker grounds for suspicion than its use on white people, particularly in respect of drugs.

“There may be a number of reasons for these findings but, taken alongside the fact that black people are more than eight times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched, they require an explanation that the service is currently unable to provide.”

Overall in the PEEL inspections, there were 35 forces graded as good, six requiring improvement and one, Kent Police, outstanding.

Greater Manchester Police was not given a rating as their inspection was due to take place just after a terror attack took place in the city.

HMI Mike Cunningham, who led the inspection, said: “We assessed well over three quarters of forces as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ […] but that is not to say that there aren’t elements forces could and should improve upon.

“Of particular concern is the continuing over-representation of black people in stop and search figures.

“Forces must be able to explain the reasons for any disparity in their stop and search figures if they are to enhance the trust and confidence of all communities.”

The use of stop and search has often been discussed by politicians.

In October Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that chief constables should explain more about the disparities between different force areas on its use.

Last month Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the tactic saves lives. 

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Forces want to spend their time tackling crime, not collating statistics. If the budget for the Police was invested properly this type of nonsense wouldn’t be necessary 

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