Borough is a stop and search hotspot

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POLICE stopped and searched more people in St Edmundsbury than in any other district in Suffolk last year.

The most recent figures available show that from October 2010 to September 2011, of 3,623 stop and searches carried out in Suffolk, most – 918 – took place in St Edmundsbury.

Chief Superintendent David Skevington said: “It is no surprise that a highest proportion of stop and searches were completed in districts that contribute a higher proportion of the overall crime in Suffolk in comparison to others.

“Stop and search is a positive policing tool that has an important role to play in detecting crime and making our communities safer places to live.

“During the last two years, officers in St Edmundsbury have carried out a number of drug operations, shoplifting campaigns and have dealt with a lot of rural crime and metal theft – this proactive policing has evidently resulted in a higher number of people being stopped and searched.”

St Edmundsbury also scored highest the previous year, accounting for 860 of Suffolk’s 3,604 stop and searches.

In both years, the white community was targeted most, with 870 whites stopped and searched in 2010-2011 and 807 in 2009-2010.

But the black community experienced the highest level of disproportionality – 1.2 black people were stopped and searched for every one white person in 2010-2011 and 1.4 black people for every one white person in 2009-2010.

Chief Supt Skevington said: “Suffolk Constabulary is committed to dealing fairly with all sections of the community and is determined to further increase trust and confidence in policing. Previously in Suffolk a larger number of people from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background were being stopped and searched compared to those who are white. This led to an ongoing programme of work to address this disproportionality.”