Police searches more effective, report finds

Police are conducting fewer searches, but they are more effective than ever, a report has found
Police are conducting fewer searches, but they are more effective than ever, a report has found
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A report to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Independent Ethics Panel has identified a 44 per cent reduction in the number of stop and searches undertaken by South Yorkshire Police in 2016, compared to the previous year.

The panel heard that while the number of searches had decreased, the outcomes had increased, due to a greater use of intelligence.

In 2016 South Yorkshire Police carried out 2,580 searches (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 combating 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.”

The data shows that while 74 per cent of searches are conducted on white people, black and other visible ethnic minority people are 3.4 times more likely to be stopped and searched. This is consistent with comparable forces but represents an increase from 2.3 per cent in 2015.