UK stop and search complaints on the rise, says watchdog report

September 25th, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept.25 (ANI): A police watchdog has expressed concern at the rise in stop-and-search complaints in the country.
Police forces in England and Wales received 536 complaints about stop-and-search in the last financial year, up from 434, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
Stop-and-search grievances made up three percent of the complaints by black people, the report revealed.
According to the Independent, opponents of stop-and-search say it unfairly targets minority groups, but the recent spate of high-profile knife crimes has led to greater use of the powers.
Figures released earlier this year showed police carried out 955,000 stop-and-searches in 2006/07, up nine percent. Black people are seven times more likely to be stopped as white people, Ministry of Justice statistics showed.
The overall number of complaints against the police remained steady, after rises in recent years, the report found.
The 43 forces received 28,963 complaints, ranging from impoliteness to assault.
Most of them concerned failures to investigate crime properly or abusive language or behaviour.
There was also a nine percent increase in the number of complaints from Asian people, investigators found.
Of the stop-and-search grievances, only 169 needed to be investigated, and 88 percent of those were found to be unfounded.
Officers from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the figures needed to be seen “in the context of over 950,000 stop-and-searches carried out annually in England and Wales”. (ANI)

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