Police Federation

PFEW supports stop and search but working to help tackle underlying issues

26 February 2021

Paul Odle, Chair of PFEW’s BAME & BAME Belief Group

Paul Odle, Chair of PFEW’s BAME & BAME Belief Group

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is continuing to advocate stop and search while working with key stakeholders to address the issues surrounding the use of the tactic on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups.

Today (26 February), HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams has published a comprehensive report on the disproportionate use of police powers with a spotlight on stop and search and use of force.

Forces have been urged to improve their understanding of the tactic by identifying disproportionality, take action to reduce it where required, and explain those reasons and actions to the public.

In 2019/20, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people were over four times more likely to be stopped and searched than White people, according to the report.

It also estimated there were reasonable grounds for stop and search encounters in 81.7 percent of cases - down from 94 percent in 2017.

Ms Williams said: “Over 35 years on from the introduction of stop and search legislation, no force fully understands the impact of the use of these powers. Disproportionality persists and no force can satisfactorily explain why.”

This month, PFEW’s Black Asian Minority Ethnic and BAME Belief Group became part of HMICFRS’ External Reference Group on diversity and inclusion, feeding into this discussion on behalf of members.

Reacting to the report, Paul Odle, Chair of PFEW’s Black Asian Minority Ethnic and BAME Belief Group, commented: “Intelligence-led ‘stop and search’ is a legitimate and effective police tactic which can, and does, prevent crime and saves lives. It is crucial the service invests in the highest standards of training and support.

“PFEW is fully committed to eradicating all forms of discrimination through community education, awareness, and by listening to colleagues and the communities we serve.

“PFEW’s Black Asian Minority Ethnic and BAME Belief Group is part of an ongoing, important conversation on this subject, and we are dedicated to developing a greater cultural understanding around stop and search.”

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