Police stop and searches drop in the West Midlands – but more slowly for ethnic minorities

The number of stop and searches across the West Midlands has dropped year-on-year by 40%, according to the latest data for June 2017 — but it is dropping faster for people who define themselves as white.

While the proportion of white people stopped and searched by police has dropped to 46%, searches of those who define themselves as black and Asian has risen by 1 and 3 percentage points respectively.

Ghiyas Somra, research and communications manager from thinktank brap said: “In terms of the statistics, they follow a trend we’ve seen for a couple of years now, where the overall number of stop and searches has fallen, but there are still significant disproportionalities affecting black and Asian people.

“The number of stop and searches has gone down mainly due to a recognition by the West Midlands Police that the disproportional impact on particular ethnic groups was unfair and eroding trust in the service, and this should be acknowledged.”

Nothing found in three quarters of searches of black people

Of the 613 people that define themselves as Asian who were stopped in June 2017, 71% were found with nothing and no further action was taken.

Similarly, three quarters of the 383 people who define themselves as black that were searched were found with nothing and no further action was taken.

“We haven’t addressed the root causes of stop and search disproportionalities,” says Somra. “Effectiveness of stop and searches continues to be poor.

“Racial profiling is a significant factor in stop and search disproportionalities. Training on this has been patchy or non-existent, but this is key to finally tackling this issue.”

Birmingham city centre has the highest concentration of stop and searches

The heatmap below shows the locations where the highest numbers of stop and searches were conducted. It reveals Birmingham city centre has the highest number of stop and searches conducted, closely followed by Wolverhampton.

Within these locations, data shows that the highest reason for police stop and searches is for controlled drugs, followed by stolen goods.

From the data, 71% of those searched resulted in nothing being found and no further action was taken.

Only 20% of the total people stopped and searched were arrested.

1 Comment

  1. Tony

    August 25, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Unless, I’m mis-reading this, it seems the police are stopping a lot of people who are not found to be carrying anything (about 70-75%) but that figure is broadly the same for all groups.

    They do appear therefore to be acting proportionately: the groups with the higher stop & search rates are more likely to be carrying something they shouldn’t.

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