The changes announced by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in March will make it easier to use Section 60 stop and search, making it even less targeted, and increasing the risk that its use will be influenced by bias and discrimination.
The lowest scores were given to “conveying trustworthy motives”.
A standardised metric of each element into a measure of 0–100 coded mean scores for participation/voice = 94, explanation/neutrality = 65, respect = 71 and trustworthy motives = 47.
Stop and search is a well-established police practice that has come under great scrutiny.
It is recognised as having been the cause of public discontent and anger when exercised in a way deemed unfair and unjust (Bowling and Phillips ).
Under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the police can stop you without any suspicion at all for a particular area and time period where a senior officer believes that violence may occur.
The Government recently relaxed limits on Section 60’s use – limits Theresa May introduced when she was Home Secretary.
How then can they disregard the clear costs of ramping up stop and search?
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you have been involved in a crime or thinks that you are in possession of a prohibited item, such as drugs or a weapon, they have the power to stop and search you under Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
Research attests that communities who are disproportionately and unfairly on the receiving end of stop and search feel profiled, targeted and harassed by these coercive encounters.
A recent study with young people on the Gangs Matrix found that young people identified stop and search as “the catalyst for the onset of their negative relationship with the police”.