Half of police forces in England and Wales – including those which unfairly target ethnic minorities – will no long record the race of people they stop and ask to account for their movements, it has been revealed.
Stop and account is a common power used by police to stop people in the street and ask them to account for their actions, behaviour, reason for being in a place or in possession of something.
But 21 out of 43 police forces have decided to scrap recording the encounters – which was a national requirement until March this year – to reduce bureaucracy and save money and time.
Figures from a Freedom of Information Act request by the Guardian show that five out of 10 police forces whose figures show they have a record of using stop and account disproportionately have agreed to the changes.
These include West Midlands, Avon and Somerset, Thames Valley, Sussex and Hertfordshire police forces.
Officers in the West Midlands – Britain’s second biggest police force – are seven times more likely to stop an African-Caribbean person than a white person, the Guardian said.