Police routinely use drug powers to 'bully people', says former Chief Inspector

Police in the UK regularly use drugs as a pretext to stop and search people, despite three-quarters of these searches coming up empty
Vice (UK)
Friday, September 4, 2020

A former chief inspector has said he believes that over a third of drug stop-and-searches by UK police are used “as an excuse to harass people”, after an analysis showed that officers are using the powers as a pretext to punish or exert control, rather than to find drugs. Despite a 2011 decision to rein in stop-and-search because so many Black and Asian people were being targeted, the tactic is back on the rise after a surge in knife crime. There was a sharp jump in the number of searches between 2017/18 and 2018/19, from 250,000 to 384,000. Despite the coronavirus lockdown, that figure has skyrocketed in London, increasing by 103 percent in the year up to May of 2020. (See also: As a police officer, I know stop and search is really about power)