The Home Office has just launched a 6-week consultation on the use of stop and search powers:
The Home Secretary has made a statement in the House of Commons today to say that – whilst stop and search powers are a vital tool for Police in tackling crime – the low search-to-arrest ratio suggests there is insufficient justification for the numbers of stop & searches that are currently conducted, particularly on BAME individuals (who are often over-represented in the figures). The disproportionate use of the powers on BAME individuals has long been a source of tension in some communities and is often cited as a factor undermining confidence in the Police. This therefore links into the work coming out of the CJS Strategy and Action Plan to ensure equality in the CJS.
The consultation seeks public views on/experiences of stop and search powers, and how their use can be improved. It coincides with a recent report from EHRC on how some police forces have reduced the use and increased fairness of the powers.