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 have been working to tackle an increase in reports of retail crime in the city over the last quarter. On many occasions, staff have recognised the same persistent offenders, and so stop and search has been used in order to seek to recover property and provide evidence of alleged offending.
This month has seen the launch of our new city centre team, with the intention to work in partnership with other agencies to focus on problem solving and managing repeat offenders.
Lots of our proactive work is focused on maintaining a hostile environment for drug dealing, whilst safeguarding vulnerable members of the community, who can be targeted exploited. Stop and Search has also helped us in tackling a series of vehicle crime and non-residential burglaries as well.
The number of searches we have conducted has increased, however we have seen a slight drop in our positive outcome rate. It is important to us to keep an eye on this, and ensure we are utilising our powers effectively, lawfully and proportionately
Is our use of Stop and Search in Winchester proportionate?
Our data shows a black person is 3.6 times more likely to be stopped in Winchester compared to a white person.
The fairness and proportionate use of powers such as Stop and Search is something that we know will be a focus for many.
Our Independent Advisory Groups provide scrutiny each quarter, viewing a sample of stops to ensure they were conducted appropriately, and that they were lawful and proportionate.
Where can I find more information about Stop and Search in Winchester?
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.