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Suffolk Constabulary

About this focus area

StopWatch is proud to support the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Race Equality (ISCRE), Suffolk's leading voice for equality and a local partner of ours for many years.

In 2016, we will work together to ensure that communities are able to meet and question their candidates for the PCC 2016 elections.

Campaign coordinated in Suffolk by:

  • Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality

About this force

Chief constable Gareth Wilson
Area 490 square miles
Number of officers 1,195
Number of PCSOs 163
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore (Conservative)
Email address spcc@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website
Key statements on stop and search

​”New Stop and Search training will be undertaken to ensure tactical, and appropriate, use of stop and search to solve and prevent crime”

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 2,600 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Suffolk Constabulary.

This was a reduction of 41% from the previous year.

There were 4 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 4,414 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Suffolk Constabulary.

This was a reduction of 17% from the previous year.

There were 1 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

Stop and account

Suffolk Constabulary record stop and accounts.

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

In 2013/14, a total of 8,406 recorded stop and accounts where carried out across the force. Of these:

7,204 were of whites
318 were of blacks
102 were of Asians
310 were of people from mixed backgrounds
8 were of Chinese people or those from other backgrounds

This means that blacks were subject to an account at 4.5 times the rate of whites, Asians at 0.9 times that rate, mixed people at 2.4 times the rate of whites, and those from Chinese or Other backgrounds were encountered at 0.2 times the rate of whites.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs65%
Stolen property18%
Going equipped7%
Offensive weapons7%
Firearms2%
Other1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering 65% of all searches carried out by Suffolk's police officers was for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. Most of these are likely to have involved low-level possession of drugs rather than suppliers despite the force being engaged in anti-drugs operations aimed at targeting suppliers.

April 2015 – March 2016

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

April 2014 – March 2015

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

0% 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 8 times the rate of white people in Suffolk, and this is one the highest black:white disparity of all English and Welsh forces. People from mixed backgrounds were searched at 3 times the rate of whites and Asians were searched at almost double the rate of whites. People from Chinese or 'Other' ethnicities were searched at a marginally higher rate than whites. Suffolk's disproportionality has a history of extreme variation and this is likely due to the force's anti-drugs operations.

There were no searches conducted under section 60 in 2015/16. Section 60 is a power that does not require officers to believe that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 8.1
White : Asian 1 : 1.8
White : Mixed 1 : 3.1
White : Other 1 : 1.3

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