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Should police scrap 'stop and search'?

11:33 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

Most police forces in England and Wales still unfairly target black and Asian people in their use of stop and search powers, the equality watchdog has said. Have you been stopped and searched?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that black people were at least six times more likely and Asian people were around twice as likely to be stopped and searched as whites. They added: "When police forces use different tactics, they cut stop and search, crime goes down."

The Home Office acknowledged that improvements were still needed, and said: "the government is committed to delivering a policing service, and a wider criminal justice system, which promotes equality and does not discriminate against anyone because of their race."

Is stop and search an effective way of reducing crime? Have you been stopped and searched by the police? How can forces tackle racism?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Given that Crime Watch seems to show a disproportional number of non whites in its "reconstructions" it would seem that the Police are simply using its time correctly.

    I'm always VERY suspicious about the Equality and Human Rights Commission - it strikes me that they like to stir up "issues" every now and again - could it be that they are simply trying to justify their existance?

  • Comment number 2.

    Ah another uncontoversial topic to be clamly & soberly debated.

    First person to mention discrimination against white males wins a prize.

    For what its worth the only time a specific ethnicity should be targeted in stop and search is where the police have specific information on the race of a suspect, or if they are specifically targetting terrorists from a particular ethnic/religous back ground.

  • Comment number 3.

    What are the statistics of the amount of each ethnicity who were found guilty of a crime during stop and search. Perhaps this can help us gauge the situation more accurately.

  • Comment number 4.

    Apparently there's 'little evidence' that targeted stop and searches are reducing crime. But conversely there's no evidence I've seen that reducing targeted stop & searches would result in an increase in crime. Political Correctness prevents crime figures being released by ethnicity so unfortunately the public aren't allowed to judge whether it's right or wrong to target ethnic groups. Can't we just see the evidence for ourselves?

  • Comment number 5.

    Why does this HYS assume that Blacks and Asians are unfairly stopped just because they are stopped more. If a particular group is more involved in street crime then it is likely that they will be stopped more.
    Looking at rates of conviction young black males are significantly more involved in street crime. Therefore I do not believe there is a problem.
    If the police cannot target suspected offenders they're soon will be a problem.
    Another HYS loaded with PC , BBC propaganda. Bring back the recommendations feature the public ( who fund you )would have exposed your bias on this one.

  • Comment number 6.

    Perhaps that's because, in South London certainly and probably other major cities, black and asian youths are responsible for the vast majority of gun and knife crime?

    Honestly, I know 'proportional representation' has its heart in the right place, but it's insulting at the best of time, and it's nigh-on dangerous with regards to controlling arrests.

    Keep stop and search, scrap CCTV and the DNA database. A human touch and intuition is what's required, not all-encompassing surveillance.

  • Comment number 7.

    this 'commission' is talking out of its behind. because all Asians and black people have to do is call the race card police refuse to deal with them

  • Comment number 8.

    I carry a card with this on it everywhere i go just in case..

    I pledge to waste your time if
    you decide to waste mine
    Let your legal representatives know your wishes and
    keep this card with you at all times
    In the event of a stop and search being intrusive, unlawful or
    malicious I pledge to issue a formal complaint to the relevant
    Police Professional Standards Department.
    As these complaints are investigated by fellow police officers
    redress is unlikely to be forthcoming. I therefore pledge to
    pursue the issue through the IPCC and if the situation permits
    to issue civil proceedings against the chief constable or
    commissioner of the relevant police force, seeking an
    admission of liability and damages.
    Regardless of the outcome, you will have your time wasted
    for wasting mine.

  • Comment number 9.

    (1) Does crime go down, or does the number of crimes detected go down if you don't stop and search?
    (2) Yes I was stopped and searched on a weekly basis as a young man under Thatchers 1980's police state. I am white, so could not have cried racism.
    (3) It's a sad fact that black kids are more likely to be in violent street gangs. This might be due to a racist job market or education system, but once they are on the streets, disarming and arresting murderers and drug dealers is not racist.
    (4) Searching potential terroist threats is part of our national security. I don't see many white potential terrorists in Britain right now. The overwhelming majority of asians are decent law-abiding citizens, but I'd rather some of them got miffed becuase they were searched than my daughter getting blown to pieces on a bus by an insane religious fanatic.

  • Comment number 10.

    Isn't this a bit of a leading question? Who says that the targetting is unfair. If Asian and Black youths are causing trouble and using knives (and they are where I stay) then its right and proper they are specifically targetted by Police. I don't understand what the issue is here; the Police are trying to stop these idiots from killing themselves, and are getting criticised for it.

  • Comment number 11.

    'Stop & search' should reflect the makeup of those that are offending in a particular area. If that means targeting a particular ethnic group in a particular area then so be it. It matters not what that ethnic group is - ensuring the streets are safe should be the priority.

  • Comment number 12.

    Stop and search statistics are meaningless without corresponding figures for crime rates based on race. If black people are twice as likely to be convicted of crimes, then higher stop and search ratios are justified. Likewise, lifestyles or culture of some races can expose them to greater police scrutiny than other races.
    Merely looking at one piece of the puzzle invokes the old adage: "figures don't lie but liars figure."

  • Comment number 13.

    Usually, a person who is treated with respect behaves respectfully, and when you treat them like a criminal they behave criminally.

    Stop and search is an important tool to have, but maybe we should have the restrictions preventing it's abuse back.
    i.e. Someone must be behaving hostile or provocatively to be stopped/searched.

    Wondering whether an action is racist, is a sign of racism itself. Taking race into account of any decision, is racism. The discussion about the legality and use of "Stop and Search" should not be one of preventing abuse to minority races, but one of preventing abuse of all people.

  • Comment number 14.

    The Police should have the right to stop and search at will. Any suggestions of racism should be ignored. Many years ago whilst travelling by car, I was stopped 3 times within a few miles. There had been a terrorist attack which I did not know about at the time. Did I reacte aggressively with any verbal, no. I allowed the Police to do their work.

    I have been stopped by the Police when on holiday abroad. I always treat them with respect and I am always treated with courtesy. There is the lesson to be learned.

  • Comment number 15.

    It is unfair that Black and Asians are stopped more often but at the time of the Irish Troubles my daughter who is Asian could pass straight through security checks whereas we were stopped and search because we look Anglo Saxon. I don't remember anyone complaining about descimination then when it was the other way round.
    I know from experience that Blacks and Asians are given preferential treatment by many companies as far as jobs are concerned, this is equally unfair but I don't hear the Human Rights Commission complaining about this. Preferential treatment causes resentment but if these Commissions are to be taken seriously then they themselves must be seen to take action in all cases, not just the times when it suits their pc agenda

  • Comment number 16.

    There must be a good reason to stop someone or is it possible that searches on whites are not being reported or if reported figures doctored.

  • Comment number 17.

    Law & Order has failed if we have to resort to Stop and Search. It simply means we are a nation were we are increasingly in fear of crime. This does not mean crime is worse, but this unacceptable law were the police can act on random suspicion makes us think it is worse than it is.

    Policing should be about comforting and reassurring the general public as well as tackling criminals. Stop and Search may well help tackling criminals, but it does not reassure the general public if you are the innocent pedestrian who is stopped and searched as a suspected criminal.

    If policing was working and at its maximum effect, the public would be less aware of the police and more aware of its effects in terms of peace, security and general less fear of crime.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why does it always have to come down to racism?
    It´s a fact that in some areas "non-white" people offend more. Surely it is the responsibility of the police with their local experience, to target groups or individuals they consider to be potential offenders rather than keep there selection politically correct.

  • Comment number 19.

    I am a sixty five years old white man of Irish descent. I have been stopped and searched several times travelling early in the morning on fishing trips.
    In the 1970's-80's it was a regular occurence. I expect this because of the hours I travel and the route I travel. I don't resent it because I have nothing to fear. In the 1970's-80' any car with an Irish, or Northern Irish, plate was stopped on the A55 Holyhead road because of the danger of terrorism.
    I was always polite and co-operative. We never complained because terrorism was a fact and we were the nation that was producing the terrorists.
    We are in the same position now. Should the police not stop and search a vehicle before a terrorist incident occured there would be an outcry.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    How about targetting those sections of society that statistically are more likely to engage in crime in each Force's area? Unfortunately, crime statistics based on ethnic background are not released by Central Government - possibly because it might, in many cases, justify what police officers are already doing!

    Even if an element of racism exists in the Police, the Service shouldn't be forced to avoid intercepting those suspected of involvement in crimes because of PC (sorry!) dogma. If the police officers do not intercept, unsolved crime goes up. If police officers make an ethnically-correct stop and search ratio, they will be wasting time on those who are not involved in crime, lose the majority public support and unsolved crime will increase because officers' efforts will be directed to an entirely pointless exercise.

    Justice is supposed to be blind: that means you target crime and those most likely to be involved. Even if the measures can be construed as being racist (by those who try hard enough), if the actions are justified by statistics, so be it.

  • Comment number 23.

    If stop and search has resulted in one or more criminals being caught, then it should continue.

  • Comment number 24.

    The EHRC seem more interested in the rights of Blacks and Asians than the rights of Whites - which is racist. When are the ECHR going to investigate the fact that Ethnics kill more whites than Whites kill ethnics despite the ethnics being a smaller proportion of the population than whites.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    No, police should not stop the 'stop & search'. If someone looks 'dodgy' then police should have that right still, to make sure we are kept safe. Times have changed & thoes who want to cause mayhem are still out there, plotting their evil deeds! So, if the police can stop it before it happens, then that's a good thing. But what do the police say to those who have been stopped & they are innocent? "We're just doing our jobs"

  • Comment number 27.

    At some point we should be supporting the police. They are in the best position to know who are committing the most crimes. If "Stop and Search" will lessen crime then I am all for it. If more ethnic people are beind searched, just accept that in that particular area the majority of crimes are being committed by those specific groups.

  • Comment number 28.

    We need stats on the incidence of arresting people as a result of stop and search. If they're roughly the same for whites and non-whites then there's no inequality and the police have used their information and instincts correctly.

    I can't reconcile arguments posited by some people that we MUST do something about the anarchy on our streets, the roaming of feral youths and the binge-drunk town centres into which we fear to go of a Friday or Sat. night; with suggestions that an extremely useful police power should be scrapped.

  • Comment number 29.

    75% of all those stopped and searched since they brought in new stop and search powers have been non white, quite an achievement when you consider that non white people make up a mere 10% of the population.

    Even if Black and Asian people do commit a higher proportion of crime which I doubt, they aren't committing 75% of all crime. I should also point out that it's almost always young people being stopped and searched despite committing a mere 12% of all crime.

  • Comment number 30.

    No. If people of any race are acting in a suspicious manner, then it is the polices duty to investigate.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    If the EHRC has conducted some sort of study, then could I see that study before we all start crying racism? The point is that if the study was carried out in a predominantly black or asian area, then of course the figures are going to be disproportionate.
    I think that this might be more about political agendas than actually giving a single solitary hoot about what happens to young asians and black people. And as an aside to all those getting hysterical about terrorists, can I also point out that it's a rare day that a young man is stopped and searched and found to have an IED - the police are looking for guns, knives and drugs.
    Since these crimes are more prevalant in impoverished areas, and since more black and asian people live in those areas (and no, I'm not saying they're rough areas BECAUSE of the black and asian people living there, it's about poverty) then their demographic is disproportionally represented.
    So - what's the problem?

  • Comment number 33.

    The purpose of policing in the UK, which is (still!) done by consent and funded by the taxpayer, is to prevent crime and when that fails to catch the criminals. Stop and search is part of that process. It may fall disproprortionately on certain groups, but so what. Look at the published profiles of convicted criminals as a guide. It is not the job of the police to operate political correctness on any level, it is their job to prevent or solve crime and they need to use all means at their disposal. Crime is crime, end of story, and that is all that should drive the actions of the police force.

  • Comment number 34.

    How much this quango "The Equality and Human Rights Commission" is costing the tax payer?
    Should we scrap it and save money?

  • Comment number 35.

    Group of white men and non-white men walking down the street. The witness says the man who committed the crime was not white - who do you stop and search? Now if there are more non-white men on the street then it stands to reason that the end-of-month stats will show a higher number of non-white men stopped and searched! It's simple and a reflection of the people committing crime not racism by the police!

  • Comment number 36.

    This is a classic example of the use of statistics to try to distort or present information in a leading way.

    If ethnic minorities are commiting more crime (where are these stats?) then it is to be expected that ethnic minorities will be stopped and searched more often (as the EHRC claim) and this might result in "black and ethnic minority youths" being "over-represented in the criminal justice system" (as the EHRC researchers also found).

    Frankly if stop and search is targeted at those likely to be commiting crime in the area, I don't care what 'community' or demographic they come from, and why would anyone else?

    Either complete the research properly or hold your peace.

  • Comment number 37.

    Is there any evidence that stop & search has any impact on the overall rate of crime in area?

    How many people actually receive convictions each year as a result of this policy?

    And as people are already starting to refer the specific threat from islamic terrorists, its worth remembering that a significant proportion of those convicted of terrorism charges in recent years have actually been White Supremacists, often found with explosives already manufactured and reasy for use.

  • Comment number 38.

    "29. At 12:13pm on 15 Mar 2010, Libmeister wrote:

    75% of all those stopped and searched since they brought in new stop and search powers have been non white, quite an achievement when you consider that non white people make up a mere 10% of the population.

    Even if Black and Asian people do commit a higher proportion of crime which I doubt, they aren't committing 75% of all crime. I should also point out that it's almost always young people being stopped and searched despite committing a mere 12% of all crime."

    The huge flaw in your argument is that police stop and search in specifically targeted zones in an effort to lower crime. This means that many, many more searches will occur in such a zone than say, a middle class white area. I live in Sussex where there is no stop and search whatsoever. The areas that need to be targeted in an attempt to lower crime unfortunately tend to be high immigration areas. The murder capitals of London (and places i visit a lot) are found in the East end in almost exclusivley ethnic neighbourhoods. You need to think your arguments through a little more carefully.

  • Comment number 39.

    why dont the police go and do random checks on the computer harddrives of every white middle aged male for peadophilea material, as they are the most common to do that sort of stuff! fact is the Police is a racist institute meaning they can not guarantee an asian or black will be treated fairly, so is this a surprise? chances are most policemen joined the force as part of BNP drive to get their members in the force and therefore be on the street to met their treatment to nonwhites and then write racist songs for their whiteshark records company who sing about holocaust with the police turning a blind eye, and funds go to BNP, shame too many ignorant white brits think BNP and Police are not racist organisations and are good at fooling the average one GCSE citizen!

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    "it might not be acceptable to the 'kick the white' groups or those who are constantly trying to undermine our values, but it is a fact that it is non whites who cause most of the problems in this country."

    Hmm.... Strong stuff. I just have to wonder what you are basing these assumptions on? There is a lot of street crime in the black and asian communitys, but it is also in the white community. You cant go on to some council estates in the city I live without expecting trouble. More often than not the assailent is white. It doesnt mean that I suddenly think that white people are causing all the problems in this city. I know that as the estate is mainly made up of white people that they are more likley to be the perp (Its the same in the black & asian areas. Its simply maths. The macho gang culture has infected all the races, they all dress and sound the same regardless of colour. It would be a lot easier to stop and search based on a persons dress sense, but just as pointless.

    I am against stop and search on priciple as it is just lazy policing (the police need this tool, but the ease with which they fall back on it makes me question the quality of the police investigations).

  • Comment number 42.

    If we have a stop and search law then the Police should be allowed to use it as they see fit. The prospect of them having to search quota's of different ethnicities as the latest criticism suggests is hillarious.

  • Comment number 43.

    "can I also point out that it's a rare day that a young man is stopped and searched and found to have an IED - the police are looking for guns, knives and drugs."

    Incorrect. police receive tipp-offs of potential terrorist activity and more people are stopped and searched. More people are stopped and searched surrounding, for example, state events. Following 7/7, I was stopped and searched in a railway station by a policemen with a mchinegun (gladly allowed my rucksack to be searched). He told me they had to search a certain number of whites people so as not to appear racist.

  • Comment number 44.

    The police can tackle recism by letting the local 'Bobby' be known to Black, Asian & White communities & those communities inbetween! The local police (2 of them)come to my kids junior school. They are both in the school & outside at home time, the children know them by their first names. At home time the parents can meet them too & they too meet the parents, it makes young & old see the police as a good thing not bad. I wasn't keen at first but our children, who had already met them in school, introduced me to them!

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    The police only stop & search those who they reasonably suspect of being up to mischief. My little brother was regularly stopped & searched as a teenager & in to his 20's because he was a naughty boy. While this government insist on discrimination laws it will ALWAYS give perceived minorities a gap to cry foul play. Political correctness is the downfall of this country.

  • Comment number 47.

    d wrote:"... but hey we live in Nazi Britain now!"

    Bearing in mind your radical stance, consider yourself lucky that you live in country where you can express your venomous view with impugnity!

    If you things are difficult now, wait until the BNP do have some form of power - perhaps you will modify your view in retrospect.

    Maybe there is a reason for the number of stops - it may be that you closely resemble someone who is involved in crime. This is unfortunate and regrettable but nonetheless understandable. Venting your spleen without such knowledge is childish and belies your claim to a "first class degree" and the presumed maturity and intelligence you apparently infer.

    Your statement is silly, unwarranted and unjustified. Pray to whatever god you worship that your accusation never comes to pass.

  • Comment number 48.

    Unless the police have a really good reson to stop and search it should not be used. We are supposed to live in a free society.

  • Comment number 49.

    Maybe all asians and blacks should also steroetype all white folk as the chavs/binge drinking yobs they see on the streets and make no effort to accept each one as individuals! but i guess asking nazi britain to do this would be giving them some kind of credit in their intelligence!

  • Comment number 50.

    The bleating of the race card at every opportunity is really starting to get a little tedious now.

    During the early 90s I flew on a weekly basis for work from Manchester to Cork. As a white single male in my early 20s it was ALWAYS me who was singled out for questioning and searching.

    Given that there was a specific threat from particular group of people at the time it was reasonable enough to expect this to occur. It did, and I just got on with it and the security staff were always polite and, if anything, apologetic for do their job.

    As we have a new threat from a different group of people it's not too unreasonable to expect police to target that group - like they did with me. Also, since knife crime is prevalent within the male teenage black community, they must expect to be stopped too.

  • Comment number 51.

    The EHRC commission , who pays them ! I want our police to stop anyone no matter what colour etc they are , its to easy to get away with murder by crying unfair this and that , the police should stop whoever is causing the problems in the area , if its black gangs hey ! what is the problem , colour should not come into it , and the people who call race card all the time are sometimes the main source of problems , I got stopped at heathrow terminal five for taking a photograph im a 70 year old woman who just loved the looked of the architecure, I was not carrying a knife just a camera i had my name etc taken for the first time in my 70 years , but i understand why .

  • Comment number 52.

    No the Police know who commits the crime and are targeting that group. If it had not been for New Labours open borders policies then a different group would be stopped.

  • Comment number 53.

    Is some one “offended” again? A whole commission this time! Before the advent of the PC “offended” brigade we had profiling, this type more likely to this or that. Strangely we did not need security machines to look through clothes, thousands of CCTVs snooping, covert surveillance, and snooping on our emails, texts, and browsing habits, and yet the place was perceived as safer! As the profiles worked and whilst a few innocents were inconvenienced the vast majority felt safer.
    There is a good argument for the majority to feel safer over the inconvenience of a minority. There is no such case for the minority to feel safe due to the fear of the majority!
    Having been stopped and searched numerous times as a youth, it is a irritation, but you do not die from it.

  • Comment number 54.

    Young men are discriminated against as well as black and Asian people.

    Stop and search powers should only be used when the police suspect that they will reveal evidence of criminal activity. Therefore the important statistic is the proportion of stop and searches that lead to arrest and successful prosecutions, regardless of race or age or anything else.

    For some forces this proportion is much too low, which means that the judgment of the police officers is poor, and that their actions may be preventing the detection of more crime by alienating the public, than they are detecting.

    Better police training is the answer.

  • Comment number 55.

    In the front of my British Passport:

    "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State
    Requests and requires that in the
    Name of Her Majesty
    all those whom it may concern
    to allow the bearer to pass freely
    without let or hindrance,
    and to afford the bearer
    such assistance and protection
    as may be necessary."

    That says it all.
    Protection is only as important as being unhindered, and
    therefore neither should be sacrificed for the other.

  • Comment number 56.

    If they go ahead with this, just watch the inercity crime rate go up.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am a slightly overweight, middle aged white male living on the outskirts of London, if most of the gun/knife crimes and violent street robberies were committed by overweight middle aged white men I would probably expect at some time to be stopped by the police, however, they are not.

  • Comment number 58.

    The police does not need to stop and search, where are the good old days rat sniffers?

  • Comment number 59.

    [em]No Victim No Crime wrote:

    I carry a card with this on it everywhere i go just in case..

    I pledge to waste your time if
    you decide to waste mine
    Let your legal representatives know your wishes and
    keep this card with you at all times
    In the event of a stop and search being intrusive, unlawful or
    malicious I pledge to issue a formal complaint to the relevant
    Police Professional Standards Department.
    As these complaints are investigated by fellow police officers
    redress is unlikely to be forthcoming. I therefore pledge to
    pursue the issue through the IPCC and if the situation permits
    to issue civil proceedings against the chief constable or
    commissioner of the relevant police force, seeking an
    admission of liability and damages.
    Regardless of the outcome, you will have your time wasted
    for wasting mine.[/em]

    How interesting. Do you have cards for all occasions or just for ones where you are being persecuted? You are of course completely wasting your time.

  • Comment number 60.

    The question is "should police scrap stop and search"?

    Absolutely NOT. ANY good parent would obviously agree; especially as knife and gun crime is rising exponentially to police retreating with political correctness?

    If I was out at night, in certain difficult areas, at obvious times I would be very worried if police were NOT stopping and searching?

    I don't believe the police are vigilant enough? If our son and daughter were walking home from a venue and were stopped and searched I would be extremely reassured and happy to know that the police were actually around and on the streets and coming down hard on all our children in UK of all race, culture, colour and nationality!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    The evidence of the last 60 years is that when the police are given powers to stop and search at random they consistently abuse them this goes right back to the late 1940s and early 1950s when police will allowed to stop anyone and order them to produce their ID card.

    Racial stereotyping as a reason for stopping and searching is plain wrong. A black or asian lad walking down the street in a hoody with his Ipod on could simply be cold and going to the shops to buy milk for his gran.

    It is no different to stopping someone for "wearing a loud shirt in a built up area" or "being in possession of an offensive wife" (for those old enough to remember not the nine o clock news).

    What is needed is a complete re-think of the stop and search laws, I am totally unconvinced that they reduce crime - more of a substitute for proper police investigation which would actually reduce crime. I suspect that the correct approach is to abolish these laws

  • Comment number 62.

    If a certain group of people are more involved with crime then of course more of them will be stopped and searched and if only a proportion of them are found to be carrying knives etc then that's more weapons off the streets of course people don't like this but for myself I think if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about, there are always some people ready to jump on the bandwagon and shout about racial discrimination

  • Comment number 63.

    The race card is played again.
    Oh I really feel sorry for all those who are black and have suffered through stop and search. Poor, poor, people who complain about the police.....oh what a hardship !!!
    Instead of complaining why don't they just look at the crime figures and think that if it prevents crime then it is better then being a vitim of crime. I am sick and tired of whinging people who have a little inconvience place upon them in order that the police can do thier job.

  • Comment number 64.

    This an attitudes and training issue. Stop and search is an essential policing tool. However I get the impression that police are not 'colour blind'. Perhaps the stereotype of the yampy young black kids is too deeply embedded in police attitudes. What is, for black youngsters, just high spirits and gentle police baiting, get misinterpreted by poorly trained or inexperienced police officers.

    The police perhaps need more training on spotting criminal intent and non-threatening behaviour among different racial groups.

  • Comment number 65.

    The facts are that black, ethnic and immigrants commit more crimes proportionately than white. Is it any surprise that these groups are stopped more often by the police?

    What does the Equality and Rights Commission want? positive discrimination in favour of criminals of an ethnic background and harsher penalties for whites.

    I'm sick to death of this creeping bleeding heart liberalism. Somebody in government needs to close down this stupid organisation it just incites racial hatred.

  • Comment number 66.

    Are they going to scrap the "Black Police Association" at that is racist too?

  • Comment number 67.

    "When police forces use different tactics, they cut stop and search, crime goes down."

    Crime doesn't go down, just the detection of it as the police don't find all the guns, knives and drugs that they find when they employ stop and search.

  • Comment number 68.

    From the experience of my friends, luckily not me, the police *are* institutionally racist, sexist and ageist (against teen/young adult males). Simply look at the proportion of stop and search to the number of arrests and then subsequent successful prosecutions. It becomes instantly clear that speculative stops cannot be justified apart from as a tool of institutional harrassment of certain segments of society.

    Even if this were not the case stop and search gives them an excellent tool for harrassment just like ASBOs - in neither case is there a need to have to any proof of crime or criminal activity. There should be limits to stop and search in those instances where the police believe, and are willing to document that belief on paper, that specific criminal evidence or possessions relating to crimal activity (weapons, tools of a burglars trade etc.) are to be found. Finally once these written "receipts" can be collected by victims of the police - and they are victims - the police should also loose their effective immunity to prosecution for harrassment and defamation.

  • Comment number 69.

    It's a sad fact that the majority of those in gangs or terrorists are black,asian etc you have to go figure in something like this. The HYS seems to be so concerned with sticking its nose into our law recently. I would've thought they had bigger fish to fry.

  • Comment number 70.

    Does 'Stop & Search' actually result in the reduction of crime?

    Or does it just reduce respect for the police in the minds of those who feel that they have been stopped and searched for no good reason?

    Without any statistics on which to base an analysis it is difficult to ask the right questions about the process.

    And for the card-carrying members: I don't think they'd let me print mine here:

    "If this individual needs their blood/alchohol level checked please be aware she is asthmatic so cannot blow into a bag. She is anemic so cannot give a blood sample. And she supports Chester City so do not take the...." (that's where I'd better stop!)

  • Comment number 71.

    Scrap it, along with the so-called anti-terror laws. They could be useful but the police have shown they have no intention of using them as they were intended, instead using them against anyone they don't like.

  • Comment number 72.

    If you are stopped and searched, especially young males, then don't complain guys.

    You are the most indulged by your mothers; you are the most lazy and commit most burglary, attacks on vulnerable and elderly, most attacks on each other.

    Historically, young males have always been the most unstable in society (whatever your background, colour or race) and should be treated with suspicion until you prove otherwise?

  • Comment number 73.

    Interesting that terrorism is automatically assumed to be on the stop and search radar, it really has nothing to do with it. It's about knife and gun crime, drugs etc.

    Stop & Search flies very close to the edge of the idea of innocence until proven guilty, like the DNA database. If you find yourself being sucked in to that particular machine, the onus is on you to prove you're not doing anything wrong. With that in mind, I disagree with S & S laws anyway.

    Only other thing:

    20. At 12:07pm on 15 Mar 2010, Toothpick Harry wrote:
    The only half interesting things to watch on television these days are factual programmes such as:- Cops in action, motorway cops etc,etc.

    Seriously? These programs are the Right Wing PR's department attempts to paint the 'authorities' in a positive light. Its all dross of the first order, strutting police officers letting real criminals go 'because persuing them might be dangerous' but shafting people who stop and cooperate.

    However, given that we have it S&S, this story is a bit of a red herring because I don't think E&D comes into matters pertaining to law. Do we stop (say) investigating crimes purely on the basis the main suspect is Chinese/Black/Asian etc?

  • Comment number 74.

    If more crimes are committed by black and asian people, what is the problem with targeting them for stop and search more frequently than other races? Profiling can be useful as long as it isn't based on bigotry and blind hate. If there are statistics to back it up, why should the race card remain a viable scapegoat for those that complain at being stopped and searched?

  • Comment number 75.

    Guess what ?
    If you are after black street gangs you target black people, if you are after Islamic terrorists you target Muslims, if you are after antisocial yobs you target hoodies, if you are after people with no car insurance you target people in battered cars, if you are after Eastern European people smuggers you target Eastern Europeans, if you are after white collar criminals you target the middle-class, if you are after VAT fraudsters you target self-employed tradesmen. I don't see why the police should criticised for the application of common sense when tackling crime.

  • Comment number 76.

    Because blacks and Asians are much more lilely to commit crime? suppose this will not be aired..

  • Comment number 77.

    If you pick up your local newspaper, turn on the local news, and even go to your local magistrates court in the public gallery. A high percentage or crime is being committed by these ethnic groups, ranging from street drugs to car crime offences. If the police know these groups are the main culprits then yes they should be stopped and searched, if your innocent then you have nothing to worry about. If someone of my description caused a crime i would expect to be stopped, questioned and searched!

  • Comment number 78.

    14% of the Prison Population are not British nationals.
    16% of British prisoners are non-white.

    So nearly a third of UK prisoners are non-white.

    Does that satisfy all those people doubting the higher crime rate amongst ethnic groups.

  • Comment number 79.

    Police need to be more present on the streets. If I was stopped and searched I would have no issue with it as they are simply doing their job, and I have nothing to hide. Stopping this will only allow the criminals even more leeway

  • Comment number 80.

    What are the actual results from the actual stop and searches that are conducted?

    If they do so many and yet the results are the same as for the whites, it shows its questionable.

  • Comment number 81.

    29. At 12:13pm on 15 Mar 2010, Libmeister wrote:
    "75% of all those stopped and searched since they brought in new stop and search powers have been non white, quite an achievement when you consider that non white people make up a mere 10% of the population."
    These stop and searches don't take place in rural Surrey they take place in poor inner-city areas. Non-whites make up significantly more than 10% of the population in these areas and in many cases are the majority

  • Comment number 82.

    Heres a crazy suggestion? Could it be that blacks and asians are more involved in crime than whites? Just putting that one out there......

    The race card and that buzz word "discrimination" get bandied about too often....

    Of these stoppages it would be interesting to see under what circumstances they were searched?

    Terrorism is one of the major security issues in this country. Terrorists are predominantly black/asian so it makes sense they are searched more, doesnt it?

    Another incident where a stupid statistic gets the politically correct idiots jumping up and down. If we stop and look at the logic its not quite simply a racism issue.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    The article is quick to mention the proportion of non-whites stopped. But there was not a single mention of actual crime figures. Too quick to try & stir up controversy, without giving a balanced view of the entire "story". If (and only if) police have knowledge that certain minorities are more likely to be comitting certain types of crime, then their stop & search tactics are entirly justified. When you have limited resources, you have to deploy them intelligently, this includes not wasting them on searching non-threats just to try & keep the statistics acceptable.

  • Comment number 85.

    I am surprised, but delighted that some of these comments have been allowed on to the forum.
    This argument about stop and search is actually a mathematical one. There ARE more white men in prison than black or asian men. This is a fact.
    However, as a percentage of population, there is a significantly higher percentage of young black men in prison, then young white men. Whether this decidedly politically incorrect statistic gets through the mods or not, it doesn't change the fact that it is true.
    Therefore, the unpalatable truth is that the Police are more likely to detect a crime if they stop and search more young black men. It could therefore be argued that the Police are using the stop and search powers scientifically and cost effectively.
    Well done the Police for not wasting tax payers money.
    If we go down the route that the Racial Equality shouters are demanding, Police will have to then stop and search an equal number of racial groups. The result will be more crimes and less detection.
    Is your equality really worth that?
    Anyway, the answer to the problem lies with each racial/national community, not with the Police. If crimes weren't being committed, there would be less stop and search.

  • Comment number 86.

    You's only doing this cos I's green - purple - blue - orange - .......... keeps civil liberty bodies in funds, always did, always will.

  • Comment number 87.

    I suppose the moment we don't allow stop and search of people in high crime areas there will be accusations of racism because the area has been "abandoned by police". Lets not forget that you will never get equality in this stop and search programme because the numbers tend to be compared against the ethnic makeup of the UK rather than the local area.

  • Comment number 88.

    Stop and search needs to be effective by targetting people who are most likely to commit a crime. Don't let the PC brigade destroy the effectiveness of the police by using the Race card. The police have a difficult job to do, let them get on with it.

  • Comment number 89.

    Should police scrap 'stop and search'?


  • Comment number 90.

    Most people who live in London have either been a victim of street crime or personally know someone who has. In the light of those experiences it is sad to say that the Police's approach to Stop and Search isn't racism but realism.

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    "Little evidnece" for S&S being effective? I don't believe it! The sheer volume of statistics that show how much crime is down and how fabulously safe our city centres are now must surely be based on some evidence?

    As for blacks being 6 times more likely to be S&Sed, perhaps that's a reflection on the shortage of whites on the streets, itself a reaction to all those menacing ethnic minority gangs hanging about.
    Remember the Smith & Jones sketch, where a policeman used S&S against the same man for such midemeanours as "being in posession of thick lips and curly hair" and "looking at me in a funny way"? Some things never change. . .

  • Comment number 93.

    Black and Asian people are not unfairly discriminated against.

    There is a higher chance that they will be stopped because there is proportionately more crime committed by blacks than whites compared to their population sizes, and Asians are responsible for most recent terrorist bombings.

  • Comment number 94.

    Everyone's saying black and asian people are convicted of more crime than white men (although from the actual statistics I've seen, that's debatable). But couldn't that be because they're the most likely to be stopped and searched rather than the other way round? Maybe if more white people were targeted, the figures would swing in the other direction.

  • Comment number 95.

    To Peter Galbavy who stated that "the police are institutionally racist, sexist and ageist (against teen/young adult males)." When I joined the "JOB" one of the first things we were told at Hendon (by a black lecturer) was that the MAJORITY of petty and not so petty crimes were committed by black young people. That’s why they are stopped so often. Would you rather they weren't stopped so that going equipped for burglaries wasn't discovered or that they aren't found to have the proceeds of robberies or weapons or drugs on their person? Be realistic.

  • Comment number 96.

    AS far as I can make out, there has to be a Police presence to identify and stop people for a search. In my sleepy part of the country, while there is a lot of violent crime, the Police are more interested in speeding and helping people with insurance claims "after the event".

    I think S&S is a valuable tool when it is used.

    More fundamental questions about how well we are being policed are being missed here!

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    I am a young white female and have been stopped and searched under the terrorism act 6 times. I was even told on one stop and search that they had to search me for equality. Surely this is waste of police time if even the officers carrying out the searches think this is a joke?

    Another friend of mine is searched at least twice a week and as his nationality is not on the stop and search form they ask him every time if they can tick a different box in order to fill quotas.

    The government has set out so many targets for what people are meant to be doing wrong surely we are not going to achieve much. Do we honestly have a check box for what a terrorist or a criminal looks like? We have cases of top business men commiting crimes but what are the chances of them being searched on the street? This country needs to start thinking about who they target and why they are targeting these people. The line does go after all 'innocent until proven guilty'.

  • Comment number 99.

    well put Clive,I'm a firm believer in the fact that scum aren't colour coded.However different areas have different demographics.However I would be pleased if the commision could possibly give me equal opportunites in public sector employment possibilities as all to often the adverts even state that cerain ethnic groups will be viewed more favourably.
    Oh,I'm sorry. I am not allowed to say that because thats just Me being racist.The sooner We get rid of these commissions and all the other gravy traineras and just fight crime.Yep,no adjective in front of it.Its just crime.The safer we will all be.

  • Comment number 100.

    Scrap the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

    There is no equality whilst we have to endure so-called positive discrimination.

    There are no human rights until we have a Bill of Rights in the UK.


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