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West Midlands Police

About this focus area

StopWatch coordinated a campaign in Birmingham to ensure that local communities can meet and question their candidates for the PCC 2016 elections.

Our regular partners in Birmingham is BRAP and they have twelve years experience working across a range of equalities strands in the West Midlands.

Campaign coordinated in West Midlands by:

  • BRAP

About this force

Chief constable Dave Thompson
Area 348 square miles
Recording stop and account? Unknown
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson (Labour)
PCC website Visit website
PCC's crime plan Read
Key statements on stop and search

“There are some issues of policing that have a disproportionate impact on levels of confidence such as the use of Stop and Search powers which have been a source of tension between the police and, in particular, black and minority ethnic members of the community”

How many searches do police do?

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 13,129 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was a reduction of 27% from the previous year.

There were 25 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 67% from the previous year.

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 17,993 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was an increase of 15% from the previous year.

There were 75 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

Stop and account

West Midlands Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs51%
Stolen property19%
Offensive weapons13%
Going equipped12%
Firearms4%
Other1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Most searches carried out by West Midlands police offices were for drugs (51%) rather than serious or violent crime.

25 searches were carried out in 2015/16 under section 60, a power that does not require officers to suspect a person is carrying a weapon in order to search them. Of these, 1 was found to being carrying an offensive weapon.

April 2016 – March 2017

14% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2015 – March 2016

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

Who is getting searched?

Disproportionality increased in 2016/17 and has been on the rise in recent years, despite the overall fall in the use of stop and searches. Black people were searched at 4 and a half times the rate of whites (up from 3.5 in 2015/16), people of mixed backgrounds were searched at around 3 times the rate of white people and Asians were searched at just over twice the rate of white people (marginally higher than in 2015/16). People from white, Chinese or 'other' backgrounds are under-represented in searches.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 4.5
White : Asian 1 : 2.1
White : Mixed 1 : 2.9

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