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June 12, 2012

UK police 28 times more likely to stop and search blacks than whites

     London: The UK police is up to 28 times more likely to use stop-and-search powers against black people than on whites, according to a new research by a human rights body. The research carried by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) looked into police's stop powers where officers do not require suspicion of involvement in crime, known as Section 60 stops. The power is used most by the Metropolitan Police, which carried out three-quarters of the stops between 2008 and 2011, some 258,000 in total with the next heaviest user being Merseyside with 40,940 stops. Human rights watchdog have warned of 'racial profiling' as data reveal below 3 percent of stop and searches leads to an arrest. Simon Woolley, a commissioner at the EHRC, said: "Our research shows black youths are still being disproportionately targeted, and without a clear explanation as to why, many in the community will see this as racial profiling". The figures show how often black Britons experience stop and search through section 60 alone, The Guardian reports. The EHRC found that in 2008-2009, the Met stopped 68 out of every 1,000 black people in its area. The worst rates of racial disproportionality were outside London , according to the EHRC. Nationally, the EHRC said black people were 37 times more likely to be stopped and searched under section 60 than white people in 2010-2011. Racial disproportionality meant an officer was 10 times more likely to stop Asian Britons than a white person, with the worst offender being West Midlands police. The EHRC said through section 60 alone ethnic minorities underwent more than 100,000 excessive searches over 2008-2011.
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