Gloucestershire Police: Stop & Search

Force drops focus on ethnicity in favour of anti-social behaviour

Open Document for community feedback

The Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme was launched in 2014. The principal aims of the Scheme were to achieve greater transparency and community involvement in the use of Police stop and search powers.

Emphasis was placed on how these powers impacted Black and minority ethnic communities.


Gloucestershire Constabulary set the 'Community Trigger' to one complaint, meaning that a single complaint about stop & search would convene the Stop & Search Scrutiny Panel along with explanation to the community as per the Terms of Reference.

Unfortunately, the Constabulary failed to uphold this commitment resulting in a formal complaint from Stroud Against Racism. Ultimately the complaint was upheld after independent review.

However, there is an ongoing and systemic problem with the disproportional use of these powers by the Constabulary which they are well aware of. There are also questions about how the force measures disproportionality.

The problem is best exemplified by rearranging** the official data (original here). :-

Bar graph showing the disproportionality of Stop Search powers.

Stroud Against Racism is alarmed that, without community consultation or engagement, the Constabulary appears to have rewritten the Scrutiny Panel's Terms of Reference. The Community Trigger and the commitment to convene the panel, when a complaint is received, appears to have been dropped in favour of an ill defined Anti-Social Behaviour Review.

These changes appear to be significant departure from the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme which moves focus away from scrutinising the clear and obvious ethnic disproportionality in the use of Stop & Search powers to that of Anti-Social behaviour issues.

The group is also concerned that these changes have not been made public which is also a requirement of the scheme.

Departure from BUSSS

Substantial changes such as these, apparently without wider community consultation, in particular with the Black community, run completely counter to ideals of the upcoming Police Race Action Plan:-

Changes run counter to the PRAP

If you have any feedback or comment on these changes you can e-mail in confidence to:– sar_sscsp[at]

If you are interested in keeping up to date with Stroud Against Racism, they would love you to sign up and pledge to uphold the groups values.

** Graphic updated. Many thanks to Gavin Hales at the Police Foundation for his unending patience and guidance with the Police data!

[This article will be updated if/when we receive a response from the Constabulary]