Police defend use of stop and search powers

Four out of every five uses of police stop and search powers in North Yorkshire result in no further action being taken.

A force-by-force breakdown of how the controversial powers have been used around the country in the last six months, published by the Government for the first time, reveal an unprecedented level of detail about who is being stopped and where the stops take place.

North Yorkshire Police took no further action after 80 per cent of stop and searches.

The figures also revealed that certain ethnic groups are considerably more likely to be stopped than others in some parts of the region.

In North Yorkshire, black or black British people were stopped an average of 10.23 times per 1,000 residents, and Asian or Asian British people 7.67 times, compared with a rate of 2.95 stops per 1,000 resident population for white people.

The proportion of black and Asian people stopped is based on 113 stops over six months, and it is not known how many of those stopped were residents.

Chief Inspector Mark Grange, of North Yorkshire Police’s Operations Command, said: “Stop and search powers are an effective tool in detecting crime, recovering property and arresting offenders.

“We recognise that such searches need to done based on the best available intelligence and conducted in an ethical and transparent manner.

“That is why North Yorkshire Police has adopted the Home Office’s Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, which includes greater community involvement via the Stop and Search Lay Observer Scheme.

“We therefore welcome the increased transparency with [our] stop and search data now readily available to the public on the police.uk website.”

A police officer has powers to stop and search members of the public if they have reasonable grounds’ to suspect they are carrying illegal drugs, a weapon, stolen property or something which could be used to commit a crime.