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Avon & Somerset Police

About this focus area

StopWatch is working with local youth groups and charities in Bristol as part of an advocacy programme designed to empower young people to address their concerns on policing.

About this force

Chief constable Andy Marsh
Area 1,855 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens (Independent)
Email address pcc@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 5,609 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Avon & Somerset Police.

This was a reduction of 46% from the previous year.

There were 0 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

April 2014 – March 2015

The police conducted 10,425 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Avon & Somerset Police.

This was a reduction of 58% from the previous year.

There were 2 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

Stop and account

Avon & Somerset Police do not record stop and accounts.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary no longer record stop and accounts. The last available data showed that black people were stopped at a rate of 3.3 of white people in Avon and Somerset (2008-09).

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs56%
Stolen property18%
Other15%
Offensive weapons5%
Going equipped3%
Criminal damage1%
Firearms1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Most searches (56%) carried out by Avon & Somsert's police officers were for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. Most of these are likely to have involved low-level possession of drugs rather than suppliers.

April 2015 – March 2016

9% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2014 – March 2015

9% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

In 2015/16, black people were stopped and searched at almost 6 times the rate of white people across Avon and Somerset (up from 5 times in 2014/15). Similar to the previous year, people of mixed backgrounds were searched at over twice that rate and Asians were searched at marginally higher rates than whites. White people and those frmo Chinese and other minority ethnic groups were searched at approximately the same rate and were under-represented in searches.

There were no recorded searches carried out in 2015/15 under section 60, a power that does not require officers to believe that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them for such items. In the previous year, there were only two recorded searches under that power and neither resulted in any weapons being found.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 5.8
White : Asian 1 : 1.3
White : Mixed 1 : 2.1
White : Other 1 : 0.9

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