Shadow Minister for Immigration, Afzal Khan, asked the Government an urgent question in the House of Commons on stop and search policy.
Currently in England, a police officer has powers to stop and search you if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect you’re carrying:
- illegal drugs
- a weapon
- stolen property
- something which could be used to commit a crime, such as a crowbar
Ongoing debate about whether police should be required to maintain the need for 'reasonable grounds' before searching has led to Afzal Khan's urgent question to the Government today.
The question was responded to by Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, who stated that the Government have "no plans to change the requirement that reasonable grounds for suspicion are needed before a routine stop and search is carried out". He went on to say that the Government was looking at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of stop and search.
Afzal Khan followed up on his question, pressing the government on the "very poor outcomes of stop and search". He cited statistics claiming there were only 9-10% arrest rates for stop and search and that black people are ten times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched.
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