Stop and search: Powers and its problems explained as police told to increase use of tactic - watch below

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Watch members of the public give their opinion on stop and search.

A senior minister wants officers to carry out more stop and searches to address knife crime, saying the tactic is ‘not used nearly often enough”.

Writing in The Telegraph, Chris Philp said police shouldn’t “tiptoe around using these powers in an aim to appease”.

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Use of stop and search has generally increased from 280,000 in 2017, although use of the tactic in the Metropolitan Police has continued to fall. Met commissioner Mark Rowley has pledged to increase its use.

What is stop and search?

In England and Wales, Section 1 stop and search powers allows police to search an individual or vehicle if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect the person is carrying illegal drugs, a weapon, stolen property or something that could be used to commit a crime.

What is Section 60 stop and search?

Section 60 stop and search powers means that some searches can be carried out without “reasonable grounds”.

These powers can be used when senior officers reasonably believe that serious violence may take place in an area or after a violent incident has taken place. Section 60 searches usually cover a specific area for a limited amount of time.

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Who is being stopped and searched?

In the year ending March 2023, black people were more than five times as likely to be searched than white people. Asian and mixed raced people were searched at a rate 1.6 times the rate of white people.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of searches were of 15 to 34-year-old males.

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