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?
Drug-related harm is a priority in Gosport and we are focused on tackling those residents and visitors who supply drugs within the town. 85% of stop searches in Gosport were for drugs and we have had some notable success in recent months, which have been published on our Gosport Police Facebook page.
Other crime trends that we have seen have been violence, including with weapons, theft from vehicles and damage to vehicles. Stop and Search has been used as a considered tactic in addressing these.
Overall officers carrying out searches found the item they were looking for on 34% of occasions, compared with a force average of 33%.
Is our use of Stop and Search in Gosport proportionate?
In the last quarter, our data showed a black person is 2.5 times more likely to be searched than a white person. This is well under the force wide average of 6.9 times.
We are working hard to understand this better and listening to people’s views. 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 Gosport?
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.