Humberside Police conducted more stop and searches last year, according to Home Office data

Humberside Police conducted thousands of more stop and searches last year, figures show, though fewer led to an arrest.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 9:46 am
Home Office data shows officers in Humberside used stop and search powers 7,424 times in the year to March. Photo: PA Images

StopWatch UK said declining arrest rates across England and Wales suggest that relations between the police and the public are deteriorating.

Home Office data shows officers in the Humberside force area used stop and search powers 7,424 times in the year to March – up from 3,256 the year before.

Despite this rise, the proportion of searches which led to an arrest fell from 17% to 15% over this period.

Across England and Wales, the number of stop and searches rose from 577,000 in 2019-20 to 704,000 in 2020-21.

This means almost 2,000 people were stopped per day on average last year, with figures peaking in mid-May 2020, when there were almost 3,000 searches each day.

StopWatch UK said the vast majority of searches cause more problems than they solve.

Habib Kadiri, research and policy manager at the police monitoring organisation, said a fall in arrest rates reflects fears that police-community relations are backsliding.

The figures also show that across England and Wales, black people were significantly more likely to be searched than white people, though slightly less so than the year before.

In Humberside, they were 3.9 times more likely to be stopped, compared to 3.6 in 2019-20.

Across the two nations, 479,000 (68% of all stops) were for drugs – the highest proportion since records began in 2006-07.

In Humberside, 62% of stop and searches were for this reason – up from 55% in 2019-20, and also a record high.

The Home Office said police used extra officers and resources to tackle drug crime during the coronavirus lockdown, and also removed almost 16,000 dangerous weapons from our streets.

A spokesman added: “No one should be targeted for stop and search because of their race and there are extensive safeguards in place to prevent this.”