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Kent Police

About this force

Area 1,443 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott (Conservative)
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2019 – March 2020

The police conducted 9,701 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Kent Police.

This was an increase of 55% from the previous year.

There were 586 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 6,251 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Kent Police.

This was an increase of 3% 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 6,068 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Kent Police.

This was a reduction of 20% 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 7,990 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Kent Police.

This was a reduction of 15% 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

Kent Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs61%
Offensive weapons14%
Stolen property12%
Going equipped9%
Other2%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Roughly three fifths of all searches in Kent were for drugs (61% in 2019/20) rather than serious or violent crime. Research suggests that these tend to be directed towards possession of small quantities of cannabis instead of harder drugs or the supply chain.

April 2019 – March 2020

18% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

4% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2018 – March 2019

21% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

April 2017 – March 2018

23% 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?

Stop and search racial disproportionality is high in Kent.

In 2019/20:

  • Black people were searched at eight times the rate of White people
  • People from Mixed backgrounds were searched at nearly four times the rate of White people
  • Asians were searched at roughly the same rate as Whites
  • Chinese or other ethnicities were searched at over three times the rate of Whites

Kent police went from conducting no recorded searches under section 60 in 2018/19, to 586 in 2019/20. 23 resulted in arrest.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 8.1
White : Asian 1 : 1.1
White : Mixed 1 : 3.7
White : Other 1 : 3.3