South Yorkshire Police stop and searches fall by 44 per cent

Stop and searches have fallen by 44 per cent in South Yorkshire
Stop and searches have fallen by 44 per cent in South Yorkshire
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You're 340 per cent more likely to be stopped and searched by police if you're black or Asian in South Yorkshire.

A report to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Independent Ethics Panel heard that whilst the number of searches had decreased by 44 per cent, the outcomes had increased, due to a 'greater use of intelligence'.

The powers are highly controversial and have prompted severe criticism as figures show people from a black, Asian or minority background are more likely to be asked to comply with police.

Figures show 74 per cent of searches by South Yorkshire Police last uyear were conducted on white people but BAME residents in South Yorkshire were 3.4 times to stopped and searched.

But stop and searches of all ethnicities are equally likely to result in a positive outcome, police bosses have said.

In 2016, South Yorkshire Police carried out 2,580 searches which amounts to 0.8 per cent of the population.

Of these, 36 per cent resulted in further action – arrest, summons or penalty notice, which is an increase from 35 per cent in 2015.

The number of complaints about stop and search has also decreased from six in 2015 to just one in 2016.

Chief inspector, Jayne Forrest, head of community safety at South Yorkshire Police, said: “We recognise that stop and search is a useful tool in combatting crime, but its use continues to be an impact factor on community relations and public confidence.

“We have worked hard to ensure the ratio of searches to outcomes reflects a national strategic objective to effectively target stop and search through intelligence. This has not only reduced the number of searches by almost half, but also makes South Yorkshire the lowest user of stop and search within comparable Forces.”