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?
We continue to use Stop and Search in a dynamic, but intelligence focused, way, not only to tackle the remaining three county lines drug networks we know are operating in our community, but also in other facets of policing.
This includes to anti-social behaviour, thefts and a firearms-related offence. The last quarter covered the lead up to Christmas, with one of our priorities being to support residents, visitors and businesses in and around Eastleigh town centre.
Is our use of stop and search in Eastleigh proportionate?
In the last quarter, our data shows a black person is 3.5 times more likely to be stopped than a white person.
This is calculated using population data from the 2021 Census.
Within the constabulary, stop and search is scrutinised by line managers and local Inspectors, to ensure we are using it lawfully and proportionately, as well as looking to make sure it remains the most suitable police power to use. In one case in the last quarter, this review has led to us considering alternative tactics to investigate a high risk perpetrator having reflected on our use of this power.
We know that some families who have lost loved ones to violence and drug related harm advocate police searches but we also know many people have concerns about whether policing powers are used fairly. As a force we know that it helps us to keep people safe and spend considerable time scrutinising how it is used. But, we also recognise that our view alone is not enough.
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 & Search in Eastleigh?
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.