EHRC: ‘Stop and think again’

A report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission:

  • Built upon its earlier report ‘Stop and think’ (2010) which found that stop and search race disproportionality at the national level to be consistently high with variations within forces and some constantly featuring in the top 10. After publication, EHRC sought to take action against five forces.With Dorset and MPS, it decided to allow Next Steps to take its course to see its outcome put under scrutiny (p.12). WMP had proposed its own measures, including to abolish quantitative use of stops as a performance indicator, which EHRC also scrutinised. Finally, the EHRC agreed to enter into a voluntary agreement under S23 of Equality Act with Leics & TVP, instead of proceeding with legal action- which had a number of commitments for an 18 month programme of action including: a formal aim to reduce disproportionality, removing quantitative targets for s&s, discussions with an IAG and each force designating an ACPO ranking officer to take charge (see p.13)
  • EHRC concluded that a reduction in stop and search could go hand in hand with a reduction in crime rates and that this occurred under a number of conditions (p.39) including: strong leadership within police forces, holding to account the officers who used it the most, a clear target as an aim to reduce it by, reducing negative drugs searches and by eliminating it as a performance indicator. EHRC highlighted that its greater involvement in a police force resulted in greater progress and also warned that excessive use and disproportionality was the result of police tactics and not the condition of ethnic minority people. Finally, it ended by stating that it would continue to monitor the five forces and work with others where appropriate (p.40).

You can read the report here