Black people are still far more likely than other ethnic groups to be stopped and searched in almost every part of England and Wales despite concerted efforts to tackle the problem.
The disclosure – following publication of detailed data from 39 forces – led to warnings that the continued “racial bias” would harm relations between minority communities and the police.
An analysis by The Independent has established that in 36 of the forces black people are being targeted more than their white fellow citizens for the intrusive searches.
In one county – Dorset – a black person was 17 times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person, the figures showed.
The statistics also revealed that less than a quarter of the searches resulted in an arrest – with a far lower proportion in most areas – which will fuel complaints that police are still too willing to employ their search powers.
The picture emerged in the first detailed publication of force-by-force figures. It follows a warning by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that she is prepared to legislate to curb the “excessive and disproportionate” use of the powers if the police record does not improve. The biggest disparity emerged in Dorset, where 200 stop and searches were carried out on black people between December 2014 and April 2015. According to the latest census figures, the county is home to just 3,200 black people.
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