How stop and search powers are reducing Calderdale crime

West Yorkshire Police say the use of stop and search is helping to reduce crime after figures revealed the powers have been used on 2,681 people in Calderdale since 2015.

That figure has fallen from 878 in 2015 to 478 last year. In 2016 the figure was 621, with the total in 2018 up to July at 273.

Stop and search figures in Calderdale revealed

Stop and search figures in Calderdale revealed

Figures released to the Courier under the Freedom of Information Act also show that drugs were the primary reason for police conducting a stop and search, which accounted for 1,133 of the total figure.

Going equipped accounted for 538 stop and searches, stolen property accounted for 229, while offensive weapons accounted for 195.

Of the total figure, 280 stop and searches led to an arrest, 104 led to a community resolution, 13 led to a caution, while no further action was taken 1,793 times.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “These gradual reductions in stop and search figures in Calderdale are representative of the trend nationally and across West Yorkshire through a number of factors including increased scrutiny, mandatory training and more pressures on front-line policing resources in recent years. Although, so far this year, the trend may be starting to go back up as a result of additional recruitment of officers through the extra monies I have raised through the local police council tax precept.

“In addition, I have funded the introduction of body worn cameras to all front-line officers, which has brought with it a greater level of transparency and accountability for both officers and the public, which is a real positive.

“Understandably, these powers have been used predominantly to tackle and disrupt those crimes which cause greatest harm to our communities, such as weapons and drugs, aligned with a more intelligence led approach with stop and search remaining a really important tool for the police and law enforcement generally.

“Likewise, the higher proportions of figures for the categories of ‘going equipped’ and ‘stolen property’ underline the force’s proactive approach to preventing and dealing with burglary, achieving a range of outcomes including arrest where necessary.

“The targeting of stop and search activity in this way is helping to address many of the key priorities I have set out in my Police and Crime Plans over previous years and in my more recently refreshed edition.”

Superintendent Justine Plumb, of Calderdale District Policing, said: “Stop and search powers are a vital tool for officers in keeping our communities safe.

“The powers assist in the prevention and detection of crime, and negate the need for an arrest to take place.

“There has been a reduction in the number of stop and searches carried out, not just in Calderdale, but across West Yorkshire and nationally.

“This can be attributed to a number of things, such as increased scrutiny, as well as mandatory training for all our officers set by the College of Policing. It is also our force policy to record every stop and search on body worn video cameras, which further increases accountability.

“The volume of stop and searches has reduced in Calderdale, but the proportion of positive outcomes, such as an arrest, community resolution or summons issued, has increased. Last year it rose to 20.5 per cent, which is up 5.1 per cent from 2016.

“We will continue to target violent criminals in West Yorkshire and stop and searches relating to the criminal use of firearms only highlight our dedication to removing firearms from our streets.

“The effective and correct use of stop and search powers means there are fewer victims of crime and more crimes detected.”