Inequality in Stop and Search

Watching on in horror at the discrimination of the police in the United States? Perhaps you should also take a look at England and Wales too and resolve to campaign for change.

This tool shows you how many stops and searches took place, adjusted for local populations, for a BAME (Black, Mixed Race or Asian) person compared to a White person in a police force area of your choice.

There were

stop and searches of White people per thousand in the population

There were

stop and searches of BAME people per thousand in the population

What can I do about it?

Stop ignoring and start listening - it doesn't go away when you look away or turn off social media. You can read 75 things white people can do for racial justice and recognise (using the stats above) that similar things to the US are happening in the UK.

You may not already know this, but in the UK we elect a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to hold our police to account democratically.

They are just as much of a representative as your MP or Cllr and yet few people know about them. You can find your PCC and email them. You can ask them what they are doing to reduce discrimination within and by their police force. If you have a personal story or something you've witnessed, you could tell them about it.

If you want to change the political landscape, join your political party of choice (Conservatives, Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats are the main ones in the UK) and make them act differently locally and nationally. Put the issue of discrimination on their local manifesto and make sure they act on it. If you're a member of the Lib Dems you can also join the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality (LDCRE).

You could also read the Lammy Review and ask your MP what they are doing to make the justice system more equal.


This tool gives a comparison between the stop and searches (under Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) per thousand of population for each police force area over a three year period from 2016 to 2019.

The population per ethnic group in thousands per police force area was calculated from the area ethnicity statistics from [IV] and population estimate for Mid-2010 from [V]. The stop and search data itself per ethnic group per police force was calculated by taking the sum for each area from [I, II and III]. The latter was divided by the former to give the estimates displayed.

Arrest data percentage was obtained by adding the arrest numbers after search from [I, II and III] and dividing by the total search numbers also from [I, II and III].


The data used in the tool above is derived from the following sources

  1. National Statistics - Police powers and procedures, England and Wales year ending 31 March 2019 [Accessed 29/05/2020]. Available online at
  2. National Statistics - Police powers and procedures, England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2018 [Accessed 29/05/2020]. Available online at
  3. National Statistics - Police powers and procedures England and Wales year ending 31 March 2017 second edition [Accessed 29/05/2020]. Available online at
  4. Police workforce [Accessed 29/05/2020]. Available online at
  5. Official Statistics - Population estimates used in crime datasets [Accessed 29/05/2020]. Available online at