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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 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.

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 7,224 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was a reduction of 32% 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
Drugs49%
Going equipped22%
Offensive weapons14%
Stolen property7%
Other5%
Criminal damage1%
Firearms1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Almost half of all searches (49%) in 2017/18 were for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. These tend to target low-level possession of drugs rather than harder drugs and suppliers.

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.

April 2015 – March 2016

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

Who is getting searched?

Disproportionality has increased across South Wales in 2017/18. Black people were stopped and searched at over seven times the rate of white people (up from four-and-a-half in the previous year), Asians were searched to closer to two-and-a-half times the rate of white people (compared to one-and-a-half times in the previous year), and people from mixed ethnicities were searched at little over twice the rate of whites (up from a just under twice the rate previously).

Those from Chinese or other minority backgrounds were searched at significantly lower rates compared with 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 : 7.0
White : Asian 1 : 2.4
White : Mixed 1 : 2.1
White : Other 1 : 0.4

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