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Racial bias in police stop and search increases

Police have “important questions” to answer after improvements made between 2010 and 2015 are reversed.

Black people are more than six times likelier than white people to be stopped and searched by police – with the gap widening over the past 12 months.

Efforts to reduce the disparity were successful between 2010 and 2015, although black people were still four times more likely to be stopped than white people by the end of that period.

But this progress was reversed in 2015-16.

Overall use of the powers reduced by more than a quarter in the year to March, with falls across all ethnicities – but stops of white people fell more sharply.

Only 16% of stops led to an arrest – though this was up 2% from the previous year.

The data emerged as it was announced new standards and training for officers would be rolled out.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said the police and Home Office had “important questions” to answer.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted the racial disparity was “unacceptable”.

She said: “While today’s statistics show that our stop and search reforms are working, with a continuing fall in the overall number of stops and the highest ever recorded arrest rate, it is completely unacceptable that you are six times more likely to be stopped and searched if you are black than if you are white.

“I am clear that in a Britain that works for everyone, no one should be stopped on the basis of their race or ethnicity.

“The Home Office will continue to push through reform to stop and search in collaboration with policing partners, but chief officers must provide the direction and focus needed locally to drive reform on the ground.”

Source: news.sky.com

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