Police stop and search reforms announced

On 30 April 2014, the Home Secretary gave an oral statement to Parliament on reforms to police stop and search powers.

Reforms include revisions to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Code of Practice A to make clear what constitutes ‘reasonable grounds for suspicion’ – the legal basis upon which police officers carry out the vast majority of stops.

The announcement follows a consultation on stop and search in 2013. A summary of the responses to the consultation was also announced on 30 April. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomed the announcement.

Background:
On 2 July 2013, the Home Secretary launched a consultation on how police use stop and search powers. Figures show that people from a black or ethnic minority background are up to seven times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than those from white backgrounds. The aim of the consultation was to look at whether stop and search is used appropriately and fairly, and how it can be better targeted and more intelligence-led.

On 24 July, the Race Equality Coalition wrote a letter to the Home Secretary welcoming the consultation and raising a number of concerns and issues about the consultation process.

On 30 July, The Voice reported that the closing date had been extended from 13 August to 24 September 2013.

In October 2013, CORE (the Race Equality Coalition) published a Stop and search overall engagement report alongside a separate document outlining the key findings and recommendations and an expanded briefing.