Progress for reform of 'stop and search' powers
30 Apr 2014This afternoon the Home Secretary, Theresa May, gave a statement on the findings of the consultation into the use of ‘stop and search’ powers by the police. The inquiry found that black people were 7 times more like to be targeted than white people when it came to the use of these powers. The Home Secretary announced that she would be launching a voluntary scheme for regional police forces to increase the required rank of the officer authorising to Chief Officer, and requires that officer believe that violence ‘will’ take place, increasing the current requirement from a believe that violence ‘may’ occur.
Diane Abbot MP said in response to these announcements: “It is encouraging to see that the Home Office recognises the aggravating effect that ‘stop and search’ powers have on relations between minority communities and the police. However, for those of us who have been campaigning on this issue for a long time, it was disappointing that today’s announcements appeared to be a watered-down form of the major changes the Home Secretary called for last year. Clearly there is still significant resistance within the government to the evidence-based approach of those seeking to reform these practices.”