By Bethany Dawson, Kieran Harrison, and Harriet Seedhouse
New data from Surrey Police shows that – when comparing the arrest statistics to the population of Surrey – Black people in Surrey are 7 times more likely to get arrested, and 6 times more likely to get stopped and searched.
When directly compared to the White residents of Surrey, Black people are 8.8x more likely to get arrested.
This is a drastic increase from the population average, where Black people are over 3 times as likely to be arrested as White people.
Surrey has a much lower Black population than the UK Average, with only 1.1% of Surrey County Council’s residents identifying as Black* compared to the average UK Black population which stands at 3.3%.
This new data, coming from an FOI request to the police force, has come in the wake of international anti-racist Black Lives Matter protests which focus on highlighting the systematic racism within Police Forces.
When approached for comment, Surrey Police said:
The authority to stop and search people is an important power that allows police officers to tackle those who want to cause harm in communities and prevent people from becoming victims of crime.
Sadly, we see young black men disproportionately reflected in knife crime statistics, both as victims and suspected offenders. We are equally concerned that people from BAME backgrounds are generally overrepresented in stop and search figures and in the criminal justice system as a whole.
We continue to examine disparities in stop and search data, and arrest data, as participants in a quarterly external scrutiny panel. This panel is independently chaired, and includes representatives from the communities that are disproportionately affected in order to scrutinise our approach and help build confidence in policing and address the issues that are most important to them.
FOR NOTE: *The demographic data for Surrey County Council comes from the 2011 census. Unfortunately, no more recent data is available, as confirmed by the Police and independent research. An in depth analysis of current trends will be made when new data is released.