National stop and search learning report

Published 01 Apr 2022
Publication or report

Stop and search is a legitimate policing tactic, and we recognise the value of having a power that allows officers to detain a person, who is not under arrest, to search them or their vehicle for an unlawful item. The powers have been described as an important tool in dealing with knife crime and drugs, in particular. 

However, its disproportionate use against people from a Black, Asian, or other minority ethnic background, one particularly young Black men, has been a concern for many years and it remains one of the most contentious policing powers.

This report brings together evidence from our work, stakeholder engagement and published research to highlight concerns about transparency, legitimacy, scrutiny, and disproportionality that must be considered and addressed by the police service and others. Our aim is to support change and improvement in policing practice to help increase public confidence.

The report is also available in a plain text format, and the learning recommendations for this report are also available to read.

This document is also available in Welsh.

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