Black people 12 times more likely to be stopped and searched by Devon & Cornwall Police

  • Report by Bob Cruwys

Devon and Cornwall Police has promised to look at the way it deals with people from BAME backgrounds after it emerged those who are black are 12 times more likely to be stopped and searched by officers.

The statistics also reveal that people from BAME backgrounds are much more likely to become a victim of crime in the two counties.

The Black Lives Matter movement, including this protest in Exeter, has prompted a national re-examination of attitudes and practices Credit: ITV West Country

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell says the Black Lives Movement has led to a national re-examination of attitudes and actions, adding: "It is clear from looking at our statistics and from listening to the lived experiences of ethnic minorities across the force area that we need to do more to understand this issue.

"To this end, we have launched in-depth examination of the data we collect to discover what lies behind this disproportionality and are determined to work with our communities and other agencies to address the underlying causes of racial disparity."

Devon & Cornwall Police is carrying out a review of its working structure and practices in light of the statistics. Credit: ITV West Country

Devon & Cornwall Police has published figures for the period from April 2019 to March 2020, showing the effects of policing on people who are black. They are:

  • Three times more likely to be a victim of crime than a white person.

  • Twelve times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person.

  • More than nine times more likely to be the subject of use of force.

  • Six times more likely to be designated as a suspect

  • Half as likely to receive a community resolution.

The statistics also showed that 900 fixed penalty notices (FPN) were issued by the force, with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people 2.8 times more likely to receive one.

Devon & Cornwall Police is now carrying out an audit of its working culture, systems and practices.

This includes custody and criminal justice systems, training, recruitment, staff support, engagement and awareness as well as increasing input from ethnic minorities at executive level.