Stop and Account (116_14)

Request

I’d greatly appreciate it if you could supply the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all of which relate to “stop and accounts”.

For each of the following financial years (April to March):

* 2011-12
* 2012-13
* 2013-14

Please could you supply the

1. The total number of stop and accounts carried out that year
2. The number of stop and accounts that year broken down by ethnicity
3. The number of stop and accounts that year of people below the age of eighteen broken down by age (including those aged ten and under)
4. The number of stop and accounts resulting in a search
5. The total number of arrests that year
6. The number of arrests that year by ethnicity
7. The number of arrests that year of people below the age of eighteen broken down by age (Including those aged ten and under)

Response

Please find attached our response.

* It is important to note – Since 2012, WMP Force Policy advises there is no requirement to record Stop and Account. The attached data will not therefore accurately reflect the total number of Stop and Accounts within the requested timescales and were only recorded as some Police Officers were unaware there was no requirement to record such encounters. Refresher training around Stop and Search powers delivered to all Operational Police Officers between November 2013 and March 2014 ensured additional messaging and there have been no recent examples of Stop and Accounts being recorded’.*

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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