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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 2017 – March 2018

The police conducted 2,411 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was a reduction of 26% 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 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
Drugs66%
Going equipped15%
Offensive weapons8%
Stolen property8%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage1%
Other<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering two-thirds (66%) of all searches carried out by this police force's officers in 2017/18 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 2017 – March 2018

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

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 continues to be 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, as well as substantial falls in overall stop and searches.

In 2017/18, black people were stopped and searched at 17 times the rate of white people, less than the previous financial year (when it was over 20 times the rate), but still the highest regional disparity of all constabularies in England.

Asians were searched at two-and-a-half times the rate of whites, people of mixed backgrounds were searched at just over one-and-a-half times the rate of whites, and those of Chinese or 'other' ethnicities were underrepresented in searches.

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 : 17
White : Asian 1 : 2.5
White : Mixed 1 : 1.6
White : Other 1 : 0.4