Black people 4x more likely to be 'stopped and searched'

Race relations experts say 'stop and searches' Credit: ITV Meridian
  • Watch our special report into police 'stop and searches' in Southampton

An in-depth study into police 'stop and searches' has found that Black people are being disproportionately targeted in Southampton.

Race relations experts have warned that the 'humiliating' practice is causing 'distrust' among Black and ethnic minority groups towards the police.

The study, which is the first of its kind in the county, observed Hampshire Constabulary officers in Southampton between January and June 2016.

It found that Black people were being stopped 4 times more than would be expected.

Almost 11.5% of the 901 'stop and searches' were targeting Black people, even though the Black population of Southampton is only 3.2%.

'Stop and searches' are supposed to cut down on street crime, from drug-dealing and carrying stolen items, to hiding weapons.

Critics say the practice has low levels of success, unfairly targets minority groups and is a waste of police resources.

The report found that almost 70% of stop and searches resulted in no further charge in Southampton.

In 2014 Theresa May, then Home Secretary, threatened to scrap police powers of stop and search unless there were major reforms, saying "nobody wins when stop and search is misapplied, it is a waste of police time, it is unfair - especially to young black men, it is bad for public confidence in the police".

The Prime Minister has been a vocal critic of 'stop and searches'