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West Midlands Police

About this focus area

StopWatch coordinated a campaign in Birmingham to ensure that local communities can meet and question their candidates for the PCC 2016 elections.

Our regular partners in Birmingham is BRAP and they have twelve years experience working across a range of equalities strands in the West Midlands.

Campaign coordinated in West Midlands by:

  • BRAP

About this force

Chief constable Dave Thompson
Area 348 square miles
Recording stop and account? Unknown
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson (Labour)
PCC website Visit website
PCC's crime plan Read
Key statements on stop and search

“There are some issues of policing that have a disproportionate impact on levels of confidence such as the use of Stop and Search powers which have been a source of tension between the police and, in particular, black and minority ethnic members of the community”

How many searches do police do?

April 2019 – March 2020

The police conducted 24,269 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was an increase of 48% from the previous year.

There were 304 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was a reduction of 85% from the previous year.

April 2018 – March 2019

The police conducted 16,379 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was an increase of 35% from the previous year.

There were 2,041 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was an increase of 1882% from the previous year.

April 2017 – March 2018

The police conducted 12,153 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was a reduction of 7% from the previous year.

There were 103 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was an increase of 312% from the previous year.

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 13,129 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by West Midlands Police.

This was a reduction of 27% from the previous year.

There were 25 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was a reduction of 67% from the previous year.

Stop and account

West Midlands Police do not record stop and accounts.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs56%
Offensive weapons18%
Stolen property12%
Going equipped10%
Firearms4%
Criminal damage1%
Other<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Searches under section 60, a power that does not require officers to suspect a person is carrying a weapon in order to search them, rose substantially up to 2018/19, when there were 2,041 searches, twenty times more than the previous year (103), of which 80 resulted in an arrest. Of the total searches, 823 were of Asians, 478 black, 387 white, 178 mixed ethnicity and 5 Chinese or 'other'.

In 2019/20, this fell to 304 arrests. West Midlands was the only police force in the region to conduct any section 60 searches on foot during the period, according to Home Office records. Eight arrests were made in total.

Just over half of all section 1 searches throughout the constabulary are for drugs.

April 2019 – March 2020

14 % of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

3% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2018 – March 2019

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 2017 – March 2018

20% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

8% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2016 – March 2017

14% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

In 2019/20:

  • Black people in the West Midlands were searched at almost four and a half times the rate of White people
  • People from Mixed backgrounds were searched at six times the rate of White people
  • Asians were searched at just over two and a half times the rate of Whites
  • Chinese or other ethnicities were searched at a much lower rate than Whites

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 4.4
White : Asian 1 : 2.6
White : Mixed 1 : 6.0
White : Other 1 : 0.1

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