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Essex Police

About this force

Chief constable Stephen Kavanagh
Area 1,400 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst (Conservative)
Email address pcc@essex.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 2,429 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Essex Police.

This was a reduction of 52% from the previous year.

There were 6 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 5,084 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Essex Police.

This was a reduction of 44% from the previous year.

There were 272 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was an increase of 1% from the previous year.

Stop and account

Essex Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs60%
Going equipped13%
Offensive weapons10%
Stolen property10%
Other3%
Firearms2%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Most searches (60%) are for drugs rather than serious or violent crime.

April 2015 – March 2016

14% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2014 – March 2015

7% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

77% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

Despite the reductions in searches in 2015/16, disproportionality increased sharply. Black people were searched at almost 7 and a half times the rate of white people in 2015/16 (up from almost six times in 2014/15) and mixed people were searched at over 3 times the rate of white people (up from double the rate previously). Asians were searched at more than twice the rate of whites (up from one and a half times previously). People from Chinese or other ethnic groups were searched at just over the same rate as whites and only white people are represented in searches across Essex. This means that disproportionality has increased for two consecutive years alongside reduction in the overall use of the power and suggests that the government-led reforms have not benefited ethnic minorities as it has white people.

Only 6 searches were conducted under section 60, a power that does not require officers to have suspicion to believe that a person is involved in violence in order to search them. No weapons were found during these encounters.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 7.4
White : Asian 1 : 2.2
White : Mixed 1 : 3.1
White : Other 1 : 1.3