The police are five times more likely to use force on black people in England and Wales, according to the latest statistics from the Home Office. In the year ending 31 March 2020, the number of incidents rose by over 60,000 to 492,000 recorded incidents whereby a police officer used force.
The statistics on the police’s rate of force, when broken down by ethnicity is stark. The police are more than five times more likely to use force on individuals perceived as being from a black ethnic group compared to white and more than eight times more likely to use tasers on those identified as black.
Tasers were used in 32,000 incidents, a 37% increase on last year—though they were not discharged in most cases, the police discharged tasers at least 3,248 times. Earlier this year the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) called for ‘greater scrutiny’ of the use of tasers after there were concerns on the ‘disproportionate’ use on Black people and those with mental health problems.
Sam Grant, the head of Policy and Campaigns at Liberty told the Guardian that the statistics were ‘the latest evidence, as if it were needed, that emphasising aggressive and confrontational policing tactics will only worsen the racist over-policing of people of colour. It’s clear that a new approach is needed to keep communities safe which doesn’t rely on yet more coercive policing’. The official Home Office statistics can be found here.