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Criminal Justice

Young black, Asian and minority ethnic people speak out on stop and search

The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) today publishes a report on the recent experience of young black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) and stop and search.  No Respect is a digest of in-depth interviews and opinion polling among two million BAME young people aged 16-30 in England and Wales.  The Criminal Justice Alliance is a 120-strong coalition of member organisations, employing more than 10,000 people between them, working across the criminal justice pathway from policing to prisons and probation.

The polling, conducted by YouGov, found:

  • Three quarters of young BAME people, almost 1.5 million, think they and their communities are being targeted unfairly by stop and search
  • More than two in five young BAME people think police officers don’t exercise their stop and search powers on the basis of fair and accurate information
  • Almost half a million young BAME people say what they know about the current use of stop and search makes them ‘less proud’ to be a British citizen in 2017

The report is published at a time when the overall number of stop and searches has fallen from 1.2 million to 380,000 over five years. However latest figures show BAME people collectively are now three times more likely than white people to be searched (up from twice as likely a year earlier) and black people in particular are now six times more likely to be searched (up from four times more likely a year earlier).

The report features extensive detail of young BAME people’s recent experience and views of the use of stop and search across the country.

‘If I saw a crime happening, if someone died from it, if someone was in critical condition,

I’d call an ambulance. But I wouldn’t call the police.’

 ‘If I see them, and they’re coming towards me, my heart will race out of my chest,

My legs will literally turn to jelly’

 ‘I call it jump-out gang. They just jump out on you. And it’s a gang of police

And they’re jumping out on you, and they’re grabbing you up’

 The report also includes a series of straightforward recommendations from young people for police forces.

Opinion polling was carried out by YouGov.  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 503 black, Asian and minority ethnic men and women aged 16 to 30 living in England and Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7 and 13 June 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by age, gender and region to be representative of the population.

The digest summarises the results of in-depth focus groups carried out with groups of young black, Asian and minority ethnic men aged 15-26 in Birmingham, Manchester, north London, south London and Slough over 12 months from summer 2016.

The 2011 Census accounted for 1.98 black, Asian and minority ethnic people aged 16-30 living in England and Wales. 806,000 of these live in London.