Police 'more likely' to stop black people

BLACK people living in Suffolk are six times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by police, a report has revealed.

Tom Potter

BLACK people living in Suffolk are six times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by police, a report has revealed.

But figures show a reduction, during the first three months of this year, in disparity between the stopping and searching of different ethnic groups.

In a report to Suffolk Police Authority's monitoring and audit committee, it is revealed that black people were 6.3 times more likely to be stopped by police than a white person - a statistical fall since the fourth quarter of last year when they were 7.4 times more likely to be stopped.


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In 14% of cases where people stopped from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background were stopped, an arrest was made. That compares to 10% of white people.

The report comes after pressure from the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE), resulting in the drafting of a Stop and Search Action Plan paper in September.

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The paper instigated a training package aimed at ensuring police officers, PCSOs and special constables conduct stop searches “legally, sensitively and in a way that considers the impact it has on others.”

A total of 800 officers were identified as requiring the training. By the end of May, 936 officers had actually completed it.

Between January and March a total of 1,329 people were stopped and searched under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Of those, a total of 1,203 were carried out on people who declared their ethnicity as being white - equivalent to 1.79 per 1,000.

Meanwhile, 126 people declared themselves from a BME background - equivalent to 6.6 per 1,000 of the resident population.

The report concludes that there are risks to confidence in the police if the use of stop search powers is not used proportionately.

The constabulary states it is taking steps to ensure that robust monitoring processes are in place.

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