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Merseyside Police

About this force

Area 249 square miles
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

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 2017 – March 2018

The police conducted 10,105 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Merseyside Police.

This was an increase of 29% from the previous year.

There were 149 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 9% from the previous year.

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 7,861 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 137 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 57% 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
Drugs78%
Going equipped7%
Offensive weapons6%
Stolen property5%
Other2%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage0%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Historically, Merseyside has had one of the highest proportions of searches for drugs in the country rather than serious or violent crime. In 2017/18, a staggering 78% of all stops and searches were for drugs, only four percentage points fewer the previous year. In 2015/16, Merseyside police produced inadequate data on how stop and search was targeted and so we have been unable to understand how searches were directed during that interim year.

Merseyside also conducted a larger volume of searches under section 60, a power that does not require officers to believe that a person is carrying weapons or dangerous items in order to search them. Recorded searches rose to 149 in 2017/18, up from 137 in 2016/17 and from 87 in 2015/16. Of these 149 searches, four uncovered weapons on the person.

April 2017 – March 2018

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

1% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2016 – March 2017

8% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

4% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

The number of stop and searches across the police force area of Merseyside rose almost 30% on the previous year, bucking the national trend of reduction.

In 2017/18, black people were searched at nearly 3 times the rate of whites. People from Asian and mixed ethnicities were searched at approximately the same rate as whites. Only people from Chinese or other minority ethnicities have been consistently searched below the rate of whites.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 2.9
White : Asian 1 : 0.9
White : Mixed 1 : 1.2
White : Other 1 : 0.5