Find another area »

Merseyside Police

About this force

Chief constable Andy Cook
Area 249 square miles
Recording stop and account? Yes

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy (Labour)
Email address pcc@merseysidepcc.info
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 13,998 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Merseyside Police.

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

There were 87 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 51% from the previous year.

April 2014 – March 2015

The police conducted 24,861 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Merseyside Police.

This was a reduction of 31% from the previous year.

There were 176 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 56% from the previous year.

Stop and account

Merseyside Police record stop and accounts.

Merseyside is one of only nine police forces in England and Wales that record stop and accounts.

In 2013/14, a total of 2,047 recorded stop and accounts where carried out across the force. Of these:

  • 1,868 were of whites
  • 34 were of blacks
  • 21 were of Asians
  • 22 were of people from mixed backgrounds
  • 56 were of Chinese people or those from other backgrounds

This means that black people were subject to an account at 1.6 times the rate of whites, Asians at 0.8 times that rate, mixed people at 0.7 times the rate of whites, and those from Chinese or Other backgrounds were encountered at 1.8 times the rate of whites.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Other91%
Drugs3%
Stolen property2%
Going equipped2%
Offensive weapons1%
Firearms0%
Criminal damage0%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Historically, Merseyside has had one of the highest proportions of searches in the country for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. In 2014/15, approximately 68% of all searches are for drugs and these are most likely for personal possession of cannabis. According to the police force's data for 2015/16, only 3% of all searches related to drugs and 91% of all searches were recorded as arising from 'other reasons'. This suggests that there may have been issues in the accurate recording of stop and search targeting in 2015/16 rather than a radical reorietation of policing towards more serious and violent crimes instead of the predominantly low-level policing issues usually associated with drugs.

April 2015 – March 2016

13% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

7% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2014 – March 2015

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

2% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

In 2015/16, black people were stopped and searched at just over twice the rate of whites across Merseyside whilst mixed people were searched at a marginally lower level. Asians, Chinese and those from other minority ethnicities were searched at approximately half the rate of whites which means that two white people are searched for every person from these backgrounds.

Of the 87 recorded searches under section 60, a power that does not require officers to suspect that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them for such items, the overwhelming majority (59) were of whites. Only 6 of these resulted in an arrest (2 whites, 2 Chinese or other, and the ethnicity for the remaining 2 were not recorded).

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 2.1
White : Asian 1 : 0.6
White : Mixed 1 : 0.9
White : Other 1 : 0.4