Stop and search figures shock

BLACK people are eight times more likely to be stopped by Suffolk police officers than white people, it can be revealed today.A series of major recommendations have now been made to the force to reverse the spiralling figures in the county.

BLACK people are eight times more likely to be stopped by Suffolk police officers than white people, it can be revealed today.

A series of major recommendations have now been made to the force to reverse the spiralling figures in the county.

In 2005, black people were six times more likely to be stopped.

Meanwhile, a person from mixed background is now 3.7 times more likely to be stopped, Asian people are 2.6 times more likely to be stopped and Chinese people 3.2 times as likely to be stopped.

In response to the increase, the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality has today released a wide-ranging study into the issue, which recommends:

Officers communicate better with ethnic minorities and treat them with respect

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Better supervision is given to officers who carry out stop and search

More effort is made by the constabulary to engage with ethnic minority communities

More training is provided to officers around the issue of stop and search

The report, which will go before Suffolk Police Authority next week also dispelled the myth that the increase in the stopping and searching of black males was due to an increase in black drug dealers coming to Suffolk from London.

Investigations revealed that the addresses of the 2,287 people stopped in Ipswich between June 2007 and June 2008, only 40 were in London - the equivalent to 1.7 per cent.

Assistant chief constable, Gary Kitching, said: “Nationally, this is a problem faced by many police forces. We recognise the issue of stop and search goes to the very heart of the confidence and trust that Suffolk's communities have in the policing service.”