In this country the police act with our consent. They are relatively small in numbers and are seen as partners in fighting crime not a force to impose their will.
Some powers get in the way of good community relations. Stopping people on the streets to search them without a warrant or really good cause is a dangerous use of power.
Stop and search is an important power. But only ten per cent of stops result in an arrest and if you are black or from a minority ethnic background, you are up to six times more likely to be searched than if you are white. This wastes police time and damages the relationship between the police and the public.
That is why police forces were inspected to see how the powers are being used, and why we launched a consultation so members of the public could have their say. We have now outlined a comprehensive package of reform to reduce the overall use of stop and search and improve stop-to-arrest ratios.
Nobody wins when stop and search is used badly. We’re clear – it needs to be used less, in a more targeted manner, and fairly. If this doesn’t happen, primary legislation will be required.