The force has a commitment to becoming more open and transparent. Part of this is being better at sharing and engaging on some of the powers that our police officers use to keep people safe, and that includes Stop and Search.
We believe that greater scrutiny will further ensure that our use of these is right and proper.
What are we searching for?
In East Hants for this quarter, Drugs remained the primary reason why stop and search was conducted with 61.4% of all searches conducted being related to this. We have also seen an increase in searches for stolen goods – 21.4% - which we have been tackling.
When positive outcomes are reviewed, drugs account for the majority of those (80%) and 20% relate to stolen goods.
Is our use of Stop and Search in East Hants proportionate?
Our data from quarter three shows a black person is 14 times more likely to be stopped in East Hants compared to a white person. This relates to four searches of black people with all four searches resulting in a positive outcome - where we find the item we are searching for.
In terms of disproportionality, 13% of our total stops were conducted on people defining themselves as being from either a black or an ethic minority. From these searches, 55% resulted in a positive outcome with the purpose reflecting the two key reasons as identified above.
Full and frank discussions about the use of powers is extremely important to us. We know that while there are those who support the use of them, there are also people who have concerns about the fairness and transparency.
We need views from others so we are doing far more engagement than we did previously. Scrutiny involving our Independent Advisory Groups (made up of members of the public) is therefore part of our approach, and we would encourage people all of our communities to get involved in these groups. We also want to hear more views on Stop and Search. Follow us on Facebook if you’d like to take part in discussions about policing in your local area.
Where can I find more information about Stop and Search in East Hants?
You can see more about the numbers by looking at the infographic, below. We have also provided the same data in a different format if that is easier for you.