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Theresa May announces greater scrutiny of stop and search powers on roads

Published 26/03/2016

Theresa May announced greater monitoring of stop and search powers
Theresa May announced greater monitoring of stop and search powers

Rules covering police stop and search powers will extend to people being stopped on the roads as figures show black and minority ethnic people are more likely to be pulled over but not arrested or fined.

Forces will have to record the reasons why they stop people and the outcome, as the Home Secretary warned she did not want to see police using their powers "in a way that could be questioned".

More data will also be collected around the use of Tasers, Theresa May told The Times, as she recalled hearing stories about the weapon being used on mental health wards.

She told The Times: "One of the things I am very clear about is that I didn't take action on stop and search to see the police using other things in a way that could be questioned."

She added: "Figures show that if you are from a black and ethnic minority community, you are more likely to be stopped by police under the Road Traffic Act but actually less likely to be arrested or fined."

The Best Use Of Stop And Search was introduced in 2014 with the aim of creating "greater transparency, accountability and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers".

Under the scheme, forces who signed up voluntarily agreed to more limits on blanket section 60 stops, used on the anticipation of serious violence without suspicion a person is carrying weapons, while better records are kept of each instance and published online.

It is understood forces will now have to provide information on the reason they stopped a person under the Road Traffic Act and what the outcome was. They will also have to provide more detailed information on people against whom serious force is used, including the use of Tasers.

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