2 Stop & Search Introduction A policing tool since the Vagrancy Act of 1824Modern stop and search powers designed to detect offences and deter crimeConcerns remain about its fairness and effectivenessPresentation aims:- Historic Overview- Police Powers- Disproportionality- A Local Picture
3 A Brief History The ‘Sus’ Laws The Brixton Riots The Introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984Stephen LawrenceMacphersonThe Terrorism Act 2000
4 Current Stop and Search Powers There are 20 different Sections from 16 different ActsPACE provides statutory guidanceMost cases an officer must have reasonable grounds for suspicionThere must be some objective basis for suspicion based on factsOfficers cannot use ethnicity to help form their grounds for suspicion
5 Reasonable Grounds for Suspicion The following Acts provide the powers that Police Officers most frequently exercise that require reasonable grounds for suspicion:PowerExtent of SearchWhere ExercisableObject of SearchS1, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984Searches of persons and vehiclesIn a public placeStolen goods,offensive weapons,articles for use indamaging propertyS23, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971AnywhereControlled drugsS47, Firearms Act 1968Firearms
6 Without Grounds for Suspicion The following Acts provide the powers that Police Officers utilise where reasonable grounds for suspicion are not required:PowerExtent of SearchWhere ExercisableObject of SearchS60, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994Persons and vehiclesAnywhere authorisedby an inspector orabove for a period of 24 hoursOffensive weaponsor dangerousinstrumentsS47a (replacing S44) Terrorism Act 2000Persons andVehiclesAnywhere authorised by an officer ofACPO rank whoreasonably suspectsthat an act ofterrorism will takeplaceEvidence of terrorismSchedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000Persons, vehicles,vessels, etc.Ports and airportsAnything relevant to determining if aperson falls withinthe definition of aterrorist
7 The Search ItselfCode A of PACE dictates that’s Police Officers conducting searches must provide the following:Grounds An explanation of the grounds for the searchObject An explanation of what the Officer is looking forWarrant Card Plain clothed officers, must show their warrant cardIdentity The Officers name and collar numberStation The station to which they are attachedEntitlement Entitlement to a copy of the search recordLegal Power An explanation of the legal power being exercisedYour Detained An instruction that they are detained for the search
8 Use of Stop & SearchToday, stop and search continues to be widely used in England and Wales.There were over one million searches conducted in 2009/10.
9 Searches Resulting in Arrest The following table shows the percentage of searches resulting in arrest by statutory power exercised in England and Wales:Proponents of the power, especially under terrorism legislation, argue that its use disrupts and deters criminal activity
10 Disproportionality Community Support is Crucial Positive Interactions are KeyAugust 2011 RiotsThe UK riots panel noted that “…concern was widely felt by young Black and Asian men who felt stop and search was not always carried out with appropriate respect.”Concern over the Disproportionate targeting of ethnic minoritiesDisproportionality Persists Nationally
11 Disproportionality Rates The following graph shows searches under PACE and other legislation per 1,000 population, by self-defined ethnicity in England and Wales.In 2009/10, under PACE 1984 and other legislation, black people were seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, and Asian people 2.2 (twice as likely) to be searched than white people.
12 Possible Explanations An ethnic bias on the part of officers;The available population for searching contains a greater proportion of ethnic minorities, who spend more time in public spacesSearches occur in geographic areas with a greater concentration of ethnic minorities.Factors such as age, employment and exclusion from school also affect the likelihood of being stopped and searched. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that the disproportionate use of stop and search on black and ethnic minority communities is perceived as racially motivated and therefore needs to be taken seriously.
13 The Local PerspectiveStop SearchesAsianBlackMixedNot StatedOtherWhiteBMETotalBristol82259641241714224221968B&NES6182128153746611Force1113251132854141855905060Stop Searches per 1,ooo PopulationAsianBlackMixedNot StatedOtherWhiteBMEBristol3.510.14.14.546.1B&NES1.3188.8.131.52.8Force2.610.56.42.85.5Disproportionality Ratio Against WhiteAsianBlackMixedOtherBMEBristol0.92.511.11.6B&NES0.44.22.21.5Force184.108.40.206Arrest RateAsianBlackMixedNot StatedOtherWhiteBMEBristol18.3%10.4%6.3%0.0%5.9%8.3%11.1%B&NES16.7%9.5%3.7%10.9%Force18.9%10.2%8.8%2.4%6.1%11.0%There have been no S60 authorisations given in B&NES in the last 12 months.
14 The National Picture in England and Wales 9% of all searches in 2011/12 in England and Wales led to an arrest.There were 21 searches per 1,000 population throughout England and Wales in 2011/12.In 2011/12, 67% of the persons stopped and searched defined themselves as White, 14% as Black and 10% as Asian.Over the period 2001/02 to 2007/08 the disproportionality ratios climbed slowly:from 4.9 to 7.6 for the black/whitefrom 1.5 to 2.3 for the Asian/whiteSource: Equality and Human Rights Commission analysis of data from Statistics on race and the criminal justice system 2001/02 to 2007/08 editions published by the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.
15 What We’re Doing Locally Ensuring that Police Officers are given adequate training regarding their powers and have a thorough understanding of ‘reasonable grounds’Ensuring Police Officers have a thorough understanding that Stop & Search practices must be intelligence led rather than based on generalisations or hunches.We have removed all targets for Stop & SearchPiloting a system of using a Traffic Light system to flag up when an Officer disproportionately Stops and Searches. This is considered to be National Best PractiseAnd of course we’re looking to you to let us know what you think about this issue
16 This presentation was Adapted from The Police Foundation, Series 2, Edition 3 (March 2012) Stop and Search and with reference to Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010) Stop and think: A critical review of the use of stop and search powers in England and Wales, Equality and Human Rights CommissionQuestions?