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Devon and Cornwall Police

About this force

Area 3,961 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez (Conservative)
Email address opcc@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2019 – March 2020

The police conducted 5,793 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Devon and Cornwall Police.

This was an increase of 27% 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.

April 2018 – March 2019

The police conducted 4,568 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Devon and Cornwall Police.

This was a reduction of 5% 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 4,809 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Devon and Cornwall Police.

This was a reduction of 5% 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 5,084 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Devon and Cornwall Police.

This was a reduction of 18% 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

Devon and Cornwall Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs71%
Offensive weapons14%
Stolen property9%
Going equipped3%
Other2%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

A staggering 71% of all searches conducted by police officers in Devon and Cornwall in 2019/20 were for drugs instead of being directed towards serious or violent crime. Research shows that most searches uncover low-level possession of drugs (mainly cannabis) rather than more serious drugs or suppliers.

April 2019 – March 2020

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

100% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2018 – March 2019

12% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2017 – March 2018

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

April 2016 – March 2017

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

Who is getting searched?

In 2019/20:

  • Black people in Devon and Cornwall were searched at over twelve times the rate of White people
  • People from Mixed backgrounds were searched at just over twice the rate of White people
  • Asians were searched at just under twice the rate of Whites
  • Chinese or other ethnicities were searched at half the rate of Whites

There was one recorded use of section 60, a power that does not require officers to have reasonable suspicion that a person is carrying weapons in order to search them for those items.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 12.2
White : Asian 1 : 1.9
White : Mixed 1 : 2.3
White : Other 1 : 0.5