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?
Tackling drug supply and the harm caused by this, particularly to the most vulnerable in our community, is a key priority for us.
Therefore, you will see that the top reason for searches being conducted is on the grounds there was suspicion that drugs were present.
We have also carried out a number of searches in relation to people suspected of going equipped or having stolen goods on them at the time they were stopped.
Is Stop and Search proportionate?
The data suggests that you are 5.3 times more likely to be searched in the New Forest if you are black. This is something that is monitored closely and appears excessive because of our demographic.
In this quarter, the figures relate to three searches of black people by our officers.
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 the New Forest?
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.