Police ‘stop and search’ numbers down

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Black people in South Yorkshire are two times more likely to be stopped by police than white people, a new report has revealed.

But South Yorkshire Police say their figures are much lower than the national average reported by HM Inspector of Constabularies because they have already addressed the problem of ‘disproportionate’ searches among ethnic minorities.

Temporary Supt Paul Varley said: “During the last 12 months, South Yorkshire Police has more than doubled the number of positive outcomes (court or community disposals following the identification of criminal activity) achieved via the ethical use of Stop and Search powers.

“This has been achieved whilst the force has addressed, to a great extent, the previously disproportionate number of searches made of minority ethnic members of the county’s communities.”

The latest figures show an Asian individual in South Yorkshire is no more likely to be searched than a white person.

“Whilst a person of African-Caribbean origin is 2.2 times more likely to be searched than a white or Asian individual in South Yorkshire, this is significantly below the ‘six times more likely’ figure quoted for the police nationally,” said T/Supt Varley.

“This reflects a reduction within South Yorkshire from 2.0 (Asian) and 4.0 (African-Caribbean) times respectively when compared to the figures quoted in the original Equalities and Human Rights Commission Stop and Think Report.

“South Yorkshire Police’s improvement in the use of Stop and Search powers reflects the Force’s commitment to ensuring our staff use their powers ethically and proportionately.

“This message has been reinforced with the additional training of all frontline officers and a number of the Force’s initiatives around Stop and Search usage were commented on favourably by the HMIC during their recent inspection.”