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Dorset Police

About this force

Area 1,024 square miles
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill (Independent)
Email address pcc@dorset.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 3,271 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was a reduction of 34% 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 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 4,979 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was an increase of 15% 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

Dorset Police record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs67%
Other10%
Stolen property9%
Going equipped7%
Offensive weapons5%
Criminal damage2%
Firearms<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering 67% of all searches carried out by this police force's officers in 2016/17 were for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. Most of these are likely to have targeted low-level possession of cannabis rather than suppliers or hard drugs.

April 2016 – March 2017

10% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2015 – March 2016

15% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

Disproportionality is high for black people across Dorset, even when taking into account the lower population sizes of black and other ethnic minority groups compared to those self-defining as white. In 2016/17, black people were stopped and searched at over 20 times the rate of white people (up from 19 times previously) and represents a rise for the third consecutive year. Similar to the previous year, people of mixed backgrounds were searched at 3 times the rate of whites and Asians are searched at the same rate as whites (down from just over 1.5 times previously). White people were searched at lower than the overall total average across Dorset. There were too few searches of people from Chinese or 'other' backgrounds to make any meaningful comparisons.

There were no recorded searches under section 60 as in previous years. Section 60 is a power that does not require officers to believe that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them for such items.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 20.3
White : Asian 1 : 1.0
White : Mixed 1 : 3.0
White : Other 1 : 0.4