Anti-racist group says certain communities in Scotland are being singled out
Black people in Scotland are being subjected to stop and search at a rate well above the average, a charity has claimed.
Police Scotland has only recently begun to publish statistics on stop and search at local level, and has previously claimed there is no evidence of differences between the rate of stop and search for different ethnic groups.
Going forward, we hope to work with Police Scotland and other stakeholders to explore the reasons behind this and ensure that racial profiling won’t be tolerated in Scotland
Jatin Haria, executive director of CRER, said: “Although it’s good that Police Scotland is now publishing this information, there are glaring inequalities for some ethnic groups, particularly in the West of Scotland, which aren’t being addressed.”
The most concerning results were found in Glasgow, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and across Ayrshire.
In South Ayrshire the proportion of black individuals stopped and searched was the equivalent to six out of every 10 people in the area’s black communities.
CRER stated there was no evidence to explain whether this was a result of evidence led policing or racial profiling.
The report also raised doubts about how well police officers use the system for monitoring the ethnicity of stop and search targets.
This follows criticism of recording practice uncovered in a recent review by the Scottish Police Authority.
Jatin Haria was hopeful that the newly published data could be used to tackle any potential discrimination.
He said: “Going forward, we hope to work with Police Scotland and other stakeholders to explore the reasons behind this and ensure that racial profiling won’t be tolerated in Scotland.”
Police Scotland declined to comment.