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Stop and Search (11638/19)


  1. Please can you provide data on the use of “Stop and Search” in the West Midlands for the calendar years:




2019 year-to-date

For each year, can you please split down by:

  1. a) demographic – ratio of BME vs non-BME stopped
  2. b) for each demographic (BMe and non-BME), the number of people actually found to have had something concealed that the stop and search was instigated for
  3. c) the item/s discovered when the stop and search was discovered (e.g. if weapons, the number and type)


Please be advised that the information that you have requested for 1b) and 1c) is not available in a readily retrievable format.

There is no grouping facility or recording category on our database to enable us to establish a correlation between the property recovered and the reason for the stop and search. The property recovered field is a free text entry field and is subject to recording inaccuracies such as spelling errors, duplicates, varying levels of detail etc. Therefore, to try to establish a connection between them would require a manual examination of all free text entries and may be subject to individual interpretation of the property described. It is for these reasons that we are unable to provide an answer for 1b and 1c without manually examining every line of data.

Therefore, the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

However, in accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and have provided the information requested for question 1a) below as this was retrieved during our initial research.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.

Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 Grand Total
BME 7,044 5,280 7,388 7,053 26,765
White 7,806 5,223 6,007 4,675 23,711
Grand Total 14,850 10,503 13,395 11,728 50,476

In addition to this response, West Midlands Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.

Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies.

This exemption and explanatory notes are shown here:

No inference can be taken from this refusal that any further information relevant to your request does or does not exist.

These data should be interpreted with caution; the figures provided 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.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.


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