The capacity to stop and search citizens is a key part of the police crime reduction repertoire. This study presents findings from a survey of all police officers at one police station in a southern English town in July 2004, looking at stop and search experiences plus a glimpse at officer views on the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Act introduced a ‘major extension to the existing powers of stop and search’ (Home Office (as cited in Keogh, 2004)). However, fewer than half of officers reported having received any formal training on the changes to stop and search procedure, and fewer than 40 per cent of officers believed that changes introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 had made stop and search ‘better’ from their perspective. Overall, and consistent with other research, a small proportion of officers made a disproportionate amount of each of stops, searches and arrests, which could have implica- tions for training and resource allocation. Sugges- tions are made for further research to examine the impact of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 upon police stops and searches, and for research to examine crime reduction effectiveness.
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