Crime

Police Explain Why They Are 7 Times More Likely to Stop and Search Black People in Avon and Somerset

Latest figures have shown that black people are 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in Bristol, and police chiefs have come out to defend their actions.

According to statistics released by the Home Office, the gap between the proportions of black people stopped by the police and those who were white had widened to the biggest gap in Avon and Somerset on record.

The police defended their actions by saying that the figures for Avon and Somerset were skewed because they covered both urban Bristol and rural Somerset and in Somerset, black people are 35 times more likely to be stopped by police than white people.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement that its stop and search policy was mostly intelligence-led.

98% of all the searches had the highest level of reasonable grounds in the country as drug operations had increased greatly in recent times. As a result they were more likely to stop and search more black people than white.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission was of the opinion that people of colour generally were stopped and searched more than white folks.

“We need police forces, the Home Office and Police and Crime Commissioners to make clear they take this responsibility seriously and tell us how they will engage effectively with ethnically diverse communities,” she added.

 

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