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What You Need to Know About Drugs Stop and Searches in England & Wales 2015/16

The latest statistics are out for police stop and searches in England and Wales, and yet again, drugs searches dominate the data.

On October 27, the Home Office published statistics on stop and searches carried out in England and Wales. For the year ending March 31, 2016, the overall number of such searches carried out under Section 1 of the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) had fallen to 386,474 from 540,083 the previous year. However, this paints only a small part of the picture.

Analysing the data we can see that the proportion of stop and searches carried out for drugs rose for the sixth straight year, hitting 61 per cent of the total. As the data below highlights, in some areas this rises far higher.

What's more, the conversion rate from search to arrest is extremely low, raising serious questions about the disproportionate amount of resources poured into policing the non-violent act of drug possession.

N.B. data from Merseyside police force was incomplete and thus omitted here. 





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