British Transport Police
About this force
|Recording stop and account?||Yes|
|Force website||Visit website|
About the PCC in this area
|Police & Crime Commissioner||Mark Phillips (interim chair)|
|PCC website||Visit website|
How many searches do police do?
April 2017 – March 2018
The police conducted 2,541 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by British Transport Police.
This was a reduction of 5% from the previous year.
There were 247 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.
April 2016 – March 2017
The police conducted 2,673 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by British Transport Police.
This was a reduction of 28% 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.
Stop and account
British Transport Police record stop and accounts.
BTP only records stop and accounts in certain areas of the country where the local police force also records these encounters, including across London.
In 2013/14, a total of 39,010 recorded stop and accounts where carried out. Of these:
- 24,014 were of whites
- 10,487 were of blacks
- 3,569 were of Asians
- 940 were from Chinese or other backgrounds.
Black people were subject to an account at 11.3 times the rate of whites, Asians at 1.9 times that rate and those from Chinese or Other backgrounds were encountered at 2.0 times the rate of whites. These disproportionality figures were calculated using the resident population based upon the 2011 census which may differ from the ethnic composition of the travelling population. Therefore, these disproportionality figures are indicative only.
What are searches targeted at?
|Target||Proportion of searches|
How effective are police stop and searches?
Most searches conducted by BTP's officers in 2017/18 were for drugs (i.e. 53%) rather than being directed at serious or violent crime. Research suggests that most of these searches tend to uncover small possession of cannabis instead of harder drugs or disrupting the supply chain.
April 2017 – March 2018
17% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.
5% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.
Who is getting searched?
Disproportionality has risen in recent years. In 2017/18, black people were searched at over 6 times the rate of white people (up from 5 in the previous year) and people from mixed backgrounds were searched at almost 4 times the rate of whites (up from 3 previously). Asians were searched at approximately one and a half times the rate of whites. Only people from Chinese or other backgrounds were searched at a lower rate than whites. These figures are derived from census data and so may not reflect the ethnic breakdown of the 'travelling population' across the train and railway networks policed by BTP.
In 2017/18, there was a sharp increase in the use of section 60, a power that does not require officers to believe that a person is involved in violence or public disorder in order to search them. Of the 247 recorded searches under this power, most were of black people (94) followed by whites (31), Asian (12), mixed people (12) and then Chinese or other (3). This explains the sharp disparities indicated on this page.
PACE disproportionality ratios
|White : Black||1 : 6.3|
|White : Asian||1 : 1.6|
|White : Mixed||1 : 3.6|
|White : Other||1 : 0.6|