Creating a fairer Britain
19 October 2012
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has today concluded its formal agreement with Leicestershire Police on its use of stop and search.
The 18-month agreement was drawn up after the Commission found the police force could not properly justify why it was stopping and searching a higher proportion of black and Asian people than other people.
The Commission agrees that Leicestershire Police has delivered all its commitments under the agreement. The force has halved its use of stops and searches of Asian, Black and White people, its stop and search detection rates have gone up; and there is not any apparent adverse effect on crime levels.
While the significant and persistent race differences in stop and search have seen only a small recent reduction, we believe that improvements in the way some officers use the power could confirm that this is a downward trend.
The force is also working with academics from De Montfort University to analyse more deeply the causes of race differences to make more changes to practice if necessary.
The Commission will continue to monitor the progress of Leicestershire Police. It will also share good examples from its Stop and Think work with police forces across Britain.
“We are greatly encouraged by the efforts of Leicestershire police. The force’s results show that the police can use intelligence to target stops and searches better. We hope their example will result in better policing, and, in turn, increased public confidence in the service.”
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
The majority of stops and searches in England and Wales are conducted under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act and is recognised by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institute. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.