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Stop and Search

Home Department written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) how many and what proportion of drug-related stop and searches led to drug seizure in each of the last three years; what proportion of such seizures led to a charge; and if she will publish a racial breakdown of each figure;

(2) how many and what proportion of weapon-related stop and searches led to a weapon seizure in each of the last three years; what proportion of such seizures led to a charge; and if she will give a racial breakdown of each figure.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

Data on the main stop and search powers used by police in England and Wales are published by the Home Office on an annual basis in the National Statistics series 'Police Powers and Procedures'. Latest published data are for the years up to and including the financial year 2010-11 and are included in the latest internet-only release, which is available at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/police-powers-procedures-201011/

As the above-mentioned publication does not show a breakdown by both offence category and self-defined ethnicity, additional tables relating to 2009-10 and 2010-11 are being provided. Data for 2011-12 will be available after the next 'Police Powers and Procedures' release is published on 18 April 2013.

The number of stops and searches under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) are presented in table. Data on resultant seizures of weapons or drugs are not collected centrally; however data on arrests made after searches under section 1 are collected, and are presented in table 2.

It is possible that offensive weapons may be found during any type of search under section 1 PACE, therefore all types of search are provided in tables 1 and 2.

Arrests following stops and searches, as presented in table 2, are not necessarily linked to the reason for search. For example, a search for drugs could uncover offensive weapons. It is not possible, therefore, to calculate the proportion of searches resulting in an arrest per reason category.

Additionally, data on stops and searches in anticipation of violence made under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and the number of persons found with offensive weapons after such searches, are presented in table 3.

Data on charges resulting from stops and searches are not collected by the Home Office.

Table 1—Stops and searches under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, by reason for search and self-defined ethnicity category, England and Wales 2008-09 to 2010-11
    Reason for search  
  Self-defined ethnicity category Stolen property Drugs Firearms Offensive weapons Going equipped Criminal damage Other Total
2009-10 White 150,943 358,439 5,385 60,394 115,303 18,286 76,941 785,691
  Black or Black British 27,683 85,624 2,493 34,124 14,104 1,239 4,306 169,573
  Asian or Asian British 13,262 70,237 862 12,770 8,759 811 4,491 111,192
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 3,110 7,044 142 1,512 1,441 134 885 14,268
  Mixed 6,120 17,719 316 4,691 4,253 460 1,555 35,114
  Not stated 10,602 25,120 579 6,879 5,640 567 3,787 53,174
  Vehicle only 2,059 4,395 173 394 495 46 753 8,315
  Total 213,779 568,578 9,950 120,764 149,995 21,543 92,718 1,177,327
                   
2010-11 White 164,759 367,292 4,953 56,992 121,802 15,344 70,504 801,646
  Black or Black British 32,521 92,618 2,276 38,913 13,424 1,014 4,786 185,552
  Asian or Asian British 15,219 81,243 885 13,200 8,667 742 4,591 124,547
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 3,742 8,200 113 2,016 1,611 85 1,058 16,825
  Mixed 6,037 17,689 272 4,583 3,959 368 1,412 34,320
  Not stated 10,630 23,949 483 6,046 5,314 492 3,534 50,448
  Vehicle only 2,723 4,221 172 381 537 26 980 9,040
  Total 235,631 595,212 9,154 122,131 155,314 18,071 86,865 1,222,378
Note: The reason for section 1 stops and searches cannot be accurately categorized on the recording systems for two forces—Dyfed-Powys and Devon and Cornwall—at the current time, resulting in them reporting higher proportions of searches in the ‘other' category than other forces. As a result, it is not possible to accurately compare data on searches for individual categories of search between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Table 2—Arrests resulting from stops and searches under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, by reason for arrest and self-defined ethnicity category, England and Wales 2008-09 to 2010-11
    Reason for arrest  
  Self-defined ethnicity category Stolen property Drugs Firearms Offensive weapons Going equipped Criminal damage Other Total
2009-10 White 18,664 26,807 555 7,549 6,440 1,832 14,220 76,067
  Black or Black British 3,500 6,164 259 2,423 918 117 1,048 14,429
  Asian or Asian British 1,482 3,592 76 944 354 84 944 7,476
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 497 466 16 149 126 14 233 1,501
  Mixed 828 1,263 48 401 254 47 352 3,193
  Not stated 1,250 1,453 55 648 327 49 754 4,536
  Vehicle only 102 183 11 32 33 7 62 430
  Total 26,323 39,928 1,020 12,146 8,452 2,150 17,613 107,632
                   
2010-11 White 20,330 27,388 536 7,829 7,235 1,513 14,058 78,889
  Black or Black British 4,274 6,829 272 2,807 837 95 1,170 16,284
  Asian or Asian British 1,629 4,162 59 1,064 395 69 1,070 8,448
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 579 567 8 189 131 10 293 1,777
  Mixed 848 1,407 37 424 242 47 401 3,406
  Not stated 1,261 1,373 44 527 364 70 719 4,358
  Vehicle only 125 235 7 30 43 4 70 514
  Total 29,046 41,961 963 12,870 9,247 1,808 17,781 113,676
Note: The reason for section 1 arrests cannot be accurately categorized on the recording systems for two forces—Dyfed-Powys and Devon and Cornwall—at the current time, resulting in them reporting higher proportions of searches in the 'other' category than other forces. As a result, it is not possible to accurately compare data on arrests resulting from individual categories of search between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Table 3—Stops and searches under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the number of persons found with offensive weapons or dangerous instruments during these searches, by self-defined ethnicity category, England and Wales 2008-09 to 2010-11
  Self-defined ethnicity category Number of searches Number of persons found with offensive weapons and dangerous instruments
2009-10 White 47,879 521
  Black or Black British 39,364 196
  Asian or Asian British 19,137 63
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 1,426 11
  Mixed 5,228 52
  Not stated 6,605 65
  Vehicle only 334 6
  Total 119,973 914
       
2010/11 White 19,086 217
  Black or Black British 22,785 151
  Asian or Asian British 12,294 54
  Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 1,012 9
  Mixed 2,676 36
  Not stated 3,025 36
  Vehicle only 85 2
  Total 60,963 505

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