‘Stop and search’ being used fairly

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Police officers in South Yorkshire have received additional training to ensure they ‘stop and search’ people fairly.

The force has admitted to carrying out a ‘disproportionate’ number of searches of minority ethnic members of the county’s communities in previous years but says the situation has improved.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies found most forces do not understand how to use stop and search powers.

Temporary Supt Paul Varley said: “During the last 12 months, South Yorkshire Police has more than doubled the number of positive outcomes – court or community disposals following the identification of criminal activity – achieved via the ethical use of stop and search.

“This has been achieved while the force has addressed, to a great extent, the previously disproportionate number of searches made of minority ethnic members of the county’s communities.

“An Asian individual in South Yorkshire is no more likely to be searched than a white person.

“While a person of African-Caribbean origin is 2.2 times more likely to be searched than a white or Asian individual, this is significantly below the ‘six times more likely’ figure quoted nationally.

“South Yorkshire Police’s improvement in the use of stop and search powers reflects the force’s commitment to ensuring our staff use their powers ethically and proportionately. This message has been reinforced with the additional training of all frontline officers.”