'Shameful' stop and search impact on ethnic minorities

The impact of stop and search powers on ethnic minority communities is "shameful" and reform is urgently needed, the shadow home secretary has said.

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Yvette Cooper: 'Too many searches are not targeted'

Yvette Cooper's intervention comes after claims David Cameron blocked plans drawn up by Home Secretary Theresa May to significantly curb the use of the controversial power.

In a letter to Mrs May, Ms Cooper said:

[This issue] goes to the heart of people's trust in the police and the misuse of stop-search has the potential to undermine effective community policing.

I hope that you will not give in to the Prime Minister's opposition to change.

Everyone agrees that the police need to have powers to stop and search individuals suspected of crime or to prevent a serious threat.

Intelligence-led targeting of suspected criminals helps to cut knife crime and youth killings.

However, while targeted action helps cut crime, the reality is too many searches are not targeted at all

Ms Cooper alludes to figures that show 27% of the 8,783 stop and search records reviewed by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary between October 2012 and April 2013 did not include sufficient grounds to justify the lawful use of the power.

'Shameful' stop and search impact on ethnic minorities

The impact of stop and search powers on ethnic minority communities is "shameful" and reform is urgently needed, the shadow home secretary has said.

A man is stopped and searched. Credit: Katie Collins/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Labour's Yvette Cooper has called for an overhaul of stop and search powers, including a ban on targets for stop and searches being given to officers. Ms Cooper also wants current guidance on avoiding race discrimination replaced with legislation.

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