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 Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and we are focused on tackling those residents and visitors who supply drugs within our towns and cities. 74% of stop searches were for drugs and we have had some notable success in recent months, which have been published on our local Facebook pages.
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 33% of occasions.
Is our use of Stop and Search proportionate?
In the last quarter, our data for the whole of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight showed a black person is 6.9 times more likely to be searched than a white person. This varies significantly between different force areas.
We are working hard to understand all of 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 or engage via our force Facebook pages if that is not something you’d like to do.
Where can I find more information about Stop & Search?
You can see more about the numbers by looking at the infographic, below. We are committed to publishing the data for people to view, including annual figures.
You can also view it in an easy-to-read PDF document as well.
Information for Fareham and Gosport is also available on this site, and we have plans to roll that out for all districts in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the future.