Stop and search ‘not targeted at ethnic minorities’

Sussex Police says figures show ‘stop and searches’ are not disproportionately targeted at ethnic minorities.

Around 32 per cent (223 out of 732) of the searches that took place in Crawley between July and December 2013 were on black and ethnic minorities (BME).

BME communities make up 31 per cent of the town’s population.

Chief inspector Justina Beeken said: “We use stop and search while targeting particular operations such as the burglary operation we are running at the moment and drug operations we run regularly.

“Many of the stop and searches are led by intelligence and our officers will always be clear to the person they have stopped, what they are doing and what powers they are using to stop and search them.”

Chief inspector Beeken’s comments came after Marilyn Le Feuvre, 55, of Bewbush, asked about police ‘stop and search’ powers at Crawley Question Time on February 5.

Mrs Le Feuvre said she was stopped and searched while she was driving more than 20 times in six months 12 years ago.

She said her car fitted the description of one the police were targeting at the time.