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South Wales Police

About this focus area

StopWatch is working with local youth groups and charities in Cardiff as part of an advocacy programme designed to empower young people to address their concerns on policing.

About this force

Area 800 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael (Labour)
Email address commissioner@south-wales.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2018 – March 2019

The police conducted 10,555 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was an increase of 55% 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 2017 – March 2018

The police conducted 6,788 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was an increase of 27% 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 5,328 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales 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.

Stop and account

South Wales Police do not record stop and accounts.

The last available data showed that black people were stopped at a rate of 2.4 that of white people Across South Wales (2008-09)

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs57%
Going equipped14%
Other10%
Offensive weapons10%
Stolen property7%
Criminal damage2%
Firearms1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

More than half of all searches in 2018/19 (i.e. 57%) were for drugs instead of being directed at serious or violent crime. Research shows that these searches tend to uncover possession of low quantities of cannabis rather than rather than suppliers or harder drugs.

April 2018 – March 2019

16% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2017 – March 2018

14% 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.

Who is getting searched?

Across South Wales in 2018/19, black people were stopped and searched at over six times the rate of white people. People from mixed ethnicities were searched at twice the rate of white people and Asians were searched at a little under twice the rate of whites. Only people from Chinese or other ethnic minority groups were searched at a lower rate than whites.

As in previous years, there were no recorded searches under section 60, a power that does not require officers to suspect a person of carrying weapons in order to search them for such items.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 7.4
White : Asian 1 : 2.0
White : Mixed 1 : 2.5
White : Other 1 : 0.6

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