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British Transport Police

About this force

Chief constable Paul Crowther
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 3,703 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by British Transport Police.

This was a reduction of 45% from the previous year.

There were 13 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 6,789 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by British Transport Police.

This was a reduction of 47% from the previous year.

There were 33 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was a reduction of 93% from the previous year.

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
Drugs60%
Stolen property21%
Offensive weapons9%
Going equipped8%
Other1%
Firearms0%
Criminal damage0%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering 60% of all searches by BTP's officers are for drugs rather than serious or violent crime.

April 2015 – March 2016

20% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2014 – March 2015

12% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

In 2015/16, black people were searched at approximately 5 times the rate of whites, mixed people at 3 times the rate of whites and Asians at almost one and a half times that rate. Those from Chinese or other backgrounds were searched at a slightly lower rate than whites. These figures are derived from census data and so may not reflect the ethnic breakdown of the population using the train and railway networks police by the BTP.

There were 13 searches conducted under 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 these, 10 were of whites and 2 were black. None of these encounters resulted in the discovery of weapons.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 5.1
White : Asian 1 : 1.3
White : Mixed 1 : 3.1
White : Other 1 : 0.8