Stop and Search (1450_15)

Request

  1. How many children under the age of 16 have been searched under ‘stop and search’ legislation in the last 12 months up to and including the date on which you reply?

Where possible, please could you also break down data for the last 12 months where possible by ethnicity and/or gender?

  1. How many children under the age of 10 have been searched under ‘stop and search’ legislation in the last 12 months up to and including the date on which you reply?

Where possible, please could you also break down data for the last 12 months where possible by ethnicity and/or gender?

  1. What is the age of the youngest person stopped and searched in the last 12 months?
  1. Please could you provide figures for how many stop and searches have resulted in arrests.
  1. How many children under the age of 16 have been searched under ‘stop and search’ legislation in the following years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013?
  1. How many children under the age of 10 have been searched under ‘stop and search’ legislation in the following years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013?

Response

See Attached (1450_attachment_01.pdf).

Please note, we are aware of inaccuracies contained within the stop and search data that we hold. West Midlands Police are committed to improving the quality of our data and therefore invested in a new IT based recording system (eSearch) in order to address these inaccuracies. Between April 2014 and October 2014 this system was implemented across the whole Force area. Following implementation of eSearch, data quality and accountability are vastly improved.

In order to further raise overall standards, all front line officers within West Midlands Police have recently undergone refresher training in relation to their Stop and Search powers.

Date of Birth / Ages

Data on ages is calculated from the date of birth as and where recorded (the subject of a stop and search can refuse to provide their date of birth) on our systems. However, as explained above we are aware that data we hold on those who were subject to Stop and Search contains inaccuracies. Researching the reasons for these inaccuracies we have discovered the following examples:

Human error – e.g. there are at least 800 ‘0’ year olds in the attached data that relate to records where the date of the search is the same as the recorded date of birth.

The date of birth has been recorded incorrectly by our scanning and interpreting equipment. If the handwriting is not easily distinguishable, then errors can occur. For example, a ‘6’ can be interpreted as a ‘0’.

The data provided is therefore subject to the inaccuracies highlighted and as a consequence, 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.

Attachments

1450_attachment_01

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