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South Wales Police

About this focus area

StopWatch is working with local youth groups and charities in Cardiff as part of an advocacy programme designed to empower young people to address their concerns on policing.

About this force

Area 800 square miles
Recording stop and account? No
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael (Labour)
Email address commissioner@south-wales.pnn.police.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2019 – March 2020

The police conducted 12,851 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was an increase of 22% from the previous year.

There were 101 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 10,555 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was an increase of 55% 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 6,788 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales Police.

This was an increase of 27% 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 5,328 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by South Wales 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.

Stop and account

South Wales Police do not record stop and accounts.

The last available data showed that black people were stopped at a rate of 2.4 that of white people Across South Wales (2008-09)

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs63%
Offensive weapons11%
Going equipped10%
Other8%
Stolen property4%
Criminal damage3%
Firearms1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

More than half of all searches in 2019/20 (ie 63%) were for drugs instead of being directed at serious or violent crime. Research shows that these searches tend to uncover possession of low quantities of cannabis rather than rather than suppliers or harder drugs.

April 2019 – March 2020

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

2% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2018 – March 2019

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

April 2017 – March 2018

14% 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 South Wales were searched at almost seven 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 almost two and a half times the rate of Whites
  • Chinese or other ethnicities were searched at nearly the same rate as Whites

There were 101 recorded searches under section 60, a power that does not require officers to suspect a person of carrying weapons in order to search them for such items. Two arrests were made.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 6.8
White : Asian 1 : 2.4
White : Mixed 1 : 2.1
White : Other 1 : 0.8

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