Stop and Search: Ethnic Groups

Home Office written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee), Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that stop and search is not disproportionately affecting (a) black men and (b) BAME communities.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government is clear no one should be stopped and searched based on race or ethnicity and there are safeguards to ensure that this does not happen. These include Code A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which sets out the statutory requirements for conducting a search, the use of body worn video to increase accountability, and HMICFRS inspections where force level disparities are examined.

Last year, the Home Office asked the College of Policing to update its guidance on stop and search to provide better practice to forces on community engagement and scrutiny.  The Home Office also publishes extensive data on police powers, including the use of stop and search, which allows Police and Crime Commissioners and others to hold forces to account. The latest publication is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019.

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