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Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats

End the disproportionate use of Stop & Search

July 14, 2020 3:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Too many people's lives are blighted by discrimination, inequality and injustice.

The Black Lives Matter protests demonstrate the urgent need to tackle racial injustice and build trust in the police among BAME communities.

The Black Lives Matter protests demonstrate the urgent need to tackle racial injustice and build trust and confidence in the police among BAME communities.

That is a huge challenge when black people are disproportionately more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. Black people are 47 times more likely to be subject to Section 60 'suspicion-less' Stop and Search than white people.

As the Lammy Review concluded in 2017, "the disproportionate use of Stop and Search on BAME communities continues to drain trust in the criminal justice system as a whole." Too many BAME communities feel over-policed and under-protected.

Disproportionate, suspicion-less Stop and Search does not work to stop crime.

Disproportionate, suspicion-less Stop and Search does not work to stop crime. Boris Johnson tried a massive expansion of it in London when he was Mayor, but his own Government's analysis found that it had "no discernible crime-reducing effects".

Meanwhile, a College of Policing analysis from 2017 suggests that even an enormous 200-fold increase in weapons searches would reduce violent crime by just 2%.

Yet under the Conservatives there has been a steep rise in the use of suspicion-less Stop and Search.

The number of searches under Section 60 increased 20-fold between 2016-17 and 2018-19, and last year the Government announced changes to make it easier for the police to carry them out.

Stop and Search can be used fairly and effectively if it is focused on people who commit crime.

That requires the police to build trust and confidence through community policing, so they can gather the intelligence they need to identify weapon-carriers and base stops on accurate descriptions of suspects.

However, the disproportionate use of Stop and Search undermines the very trust and confidence that is vital to prevent crime.

We have put forward legislation to abolish suspicion-less Stop and Search.

That's why the Liberal Democrats are fighting to end the disproportionate use of Stop and Search, and have put forward legislation to abolish suspicion-less Stop and Search.

The Liberal Democrats exist to fight for justice, liberty and equality.

We are committed to reducing the overrepresentation of people from BAME backgrounds throughout the criminal justice system and combating racism - whether conscious or unconscious - wherever we find it.