Stop lopsided use of stop and search powers: EHRC

`Search tactics unevenly used against minority ethnic young people’

16th March 2010:
The “disproportionate use of stop and search powers” by the police on black and minority ethnic young people has been objected to by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which believes the police forces may be breaching the law.

The EHRC is even shooting of communications to the members of the police forces widely using stop and search tactics.

The EHRC believes there is hardly any evidence to suggest targeting black people disproportionately with stop-and-search powers reduces crime.

The communications follow the publication of a review into 42 policing areas across England and Wales during the past five years.

It was found few police forces made improvements. Rather, some forces actually increased the use of “stop and search” tactics against the minority ethnic young people.

It found black people were stopped and searched at least six times more than the white people. Asians too were stopped and searched twice more than the whites.

The forces with most disproportionate use powers against black people were Dorset, Hampshire, Leicestershire and Wandsworth.

The EHRC’s efforts also showed black and mixed-race young people were three times likely to be denied bail, than young white men.

Commissioner Simon Woolley from the Equality and Human Rights Commission says the need of the hour is to see improvement, as it is not enough for the police to merely come out with new initiatives without ensuring the existing ones produce results.

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