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Dorset Police

About this force

Area 1,024 square miles
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill (Independent)
Email address pcc@dorset.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2019 – March 2020

The police conducted 2,102 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was a reduction of 11% from the previous year.

There were 14 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 2,368 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was a reduction of 2% 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 2,411 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset 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 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 3,271 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Dorset Police.

This was a reduction of 34% 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

Dorset Police record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs67%
Offensive weapons14%
Going equipped9%
Stolen property6%
Other2%
Criminal damage1%
Firearms1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

In 2019/20, a staggering 67% of all searches carried out by Dorset's police officers were for drugs instead of being directed towards more serious or violent crime. Most of these are likely to have targeted low-level possession of cannabis rather than suppliers or harder drugs.

April 2019 – March 2020

13% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

21% 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

10% 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.

Who is getting searched?

In 2019/20:

  • Black people in Dorset were searched at twenty two and a half times the rate of White people, the worst disproportionality in England and Wales
  • People from Mixed backgrounds were searched at almost four and a half times the rate of White people
  • Asians were searched at just roughly the same rate as Whites
  • Chinese or other ethnicities were searched at just over half the rate of Whites

There were 14 recorded uses of section 60, and three arrests for 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 : 22.5
White : Asian 1 : 1.0
White : Mixed 1 : 4.3
White : Other 1 : 0.6