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    Stop and search may be down, but ethnic disproportionality is increasing

    New figures released by the Home Office today show that stop and search continues to be targeted at low level drug possession rather than weapons, and that despite major reforms racial and ethnic disproportionality is increasing. In welcome news, the number of stop and searches has fallen 21% from last year to 303, 845 in 2016-17. The lowest level since 2002, when current recording practices began. Read more »

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    Letter to The Times

    Read our letter to The Times, published 12.8.17, in response to their article (9.8.17) which wrongly claimed criminologists blamed the reduction in the numbers of stop and search for the increase to police recorded knife-related crime. Read more »

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    StopWatch and Release’s response to the Home Office’s proposed revised ‘Best Use of Stop and Search’

    The Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme (BUSSS) obligates forces to make stop and search more transparent, to record and publish more data on the police power, and improve community engagement. The Home Office have conducted a 9 month review of BUSSS and recently released a revised version for consultation but only allowed 3 weeks for comments to be submitted, severely limiting response from campaign and community groups. It is apparent to StopWatch and Release the poor treatment of campaign and community groups received by the Home Office cannot be regarded as an inclusive and extensive public consultation. Read more »

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    Most ‘stop and search’ is ineffective and fails communities worst affected by knife crime

    Read our press release on the latest police recorded crime figures for 2016/17 that report violent crime has increased. Many senior police officials have called for more stop and search, but research shows that the tactic is largely ineffective and often used unfairly and sometimes unlawfully. Targeted use of stop and search may have a role to play in reducing knife crime and serious violence, but can only ever be a small part of the solution. StopWatch calls for alternative approaches, where police work with local communities, especially young people, to create safe and peaceful communities in ways that protect fundamental human rights and freedoms. Read more »

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    Stop and Search: A Guide for Parents and Children, plus short film

    Read and download our latest publication Stop and Search: A Guide for Parents and Children. The guide has been made in consultation with parents’ groups, children and young people who have been stopped and searched. Using a harm reduction approach, this guide focuses on keeping children as safe as possible during interactions with the police. It outlines what should happen during a stop and search and contains key information and tips to help support children and their parents. Read more »

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