Creu Prydain Decach
10 May 2011
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has entered into a binding agreement with Thames Valley Police and Leicestershire Constabulary, regarding their disproportionate use of stop and search powers.
This follows an earlier warning given to the forces after the publication in 2010 of the Commissions report, Stop and Think, which found that some police forces are using stop and search powers in a way that is disproportionate and possibly discriminatory.
The Commission's comprehensive review of the use of stop and search powers across England and Wales over the past 10 years showed black people are still at least six times as likely to be stopped and searched compared to white people. Asian people are around twice as likely to be stopped and searched compared to white people.
The report found that Thames Valley Police and Leicestershire Constabulary had significant and persistent race differences in their use of stop and search. Neither force was able to adequately justify and evidence the disproportionate use of their stop and search tactics.
Those forces have now agreed a number of undertakings which the Commission will monitor over the next 18 months.
John Wadham, Legal Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:
'The Commission welcomes the steps that Thames Valley Police and Leicestershire Constabulary have taken to combat the issues around their use of stop and search.
'The power to stop and search people is an important tool in tackling crime. These agreements will help ensure that tool is used in an appropriate way.'
For more press information contact the Commissions media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commissions national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.