“Racial profiling” in the use of stop and search powers by the police

A research conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Open Society Justice Initiative revealed dramatic findings: in England and Wales, black people are 30 times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than white people. The statistics also reveal that England and Wales currently have the worst international record of discrimination involving stop and search. The use of section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which gives police officers the power to stop and search people without reasonable suspicion, might also be criticized in light of Home Office data that shows that only 0.5% of the searches led to an arrest for possession of a dangerous weapon. There is therefore, clear statistical evidence that section 60 is being used in a discriminatory manner, something that might raise questions about its compatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights.


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