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Wiltshire Police

About this force

Area 1,346 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson (Conservative)
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 1,600 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Wiltshire Police.

This was a reduction of 37% 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 2,533 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Wiltshire Police.

This was an increase of 0% from the previous year.

Stop and account

Wiltshire Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs70%
Stolen property13%
Offensive weapons8%
Going equipped6%
Criminal damage1%
Other1%
Firearms<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering 70% of all searches carried out by this police force's officers were for drugs rather than serious or violent crime. These searches typically target low-level possession of cannabis rather than suppliers or harder drugs.

April 2016 – March 2017

11% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2015 – March 2016

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

Who is getting searched?

Disproportionality is high in Wiltshire despite the relatively low number of searches compared to other forces. In 2016/17, black people were stopped and searched at over 10 times the rate of white people (up from 8 times in 2014/15); people from mixed backgrounds were searched at two and a half times the rate of whites (down slightly); and Asians were searched at just over twice the rate of white people (up from slightly less than double previously). People from white backgrounds were the only group to be searched lower than the average across Wiltshire. Searches of people from Chinese or all other ethnic minority groups were too small to make any meaningful comparisons.

As in previous years, there were no recorded searches carried out under section 60, a power that does not require officers to have suspicion to believe that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 10.5
White : Asian 1 : 2.2
White : Mixed 1 : 2.5
White : Other 1 : 0.4