27 Oct 2020

Huge rise in stop-and-search in England and Wales – with Black people disproportionately targeted

Police have carried out the highest number of stop-and-searches in seven years, with the figure rising by more than 50% in 12 months, according to official statistics published today.

Between April last year and March this year (before lockdown) there were over half a million stops. And Black people were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

The numbers were even higher during lockdown. In May alone, the Met carried out nearly 43,000 stops, compared to 21,000 a year earlier.

During lockdown the Met stopped young Black men nearly 22,000 times – the equivalent of more than a quarter of black 15-24 year olds in the capital.

In this report, we hear a personal view from Victor Olisa. He used to lead stop-and-search in London, and was seconded to the Home Office to help redraft the rules.