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EQUAL response to the Home Office Serious Violence Reduction Orders Consultation

Serious Violence Reducation Orders (SVRO's) allow individuals to be stopped and searched at any time and in any public place, without the normal requirement for the police officer to have ‘reasonable grounds’ for suspicion of possessing a knife or other offensive weapon at the time.

EQUAL submitted evidence to the Ministry of Justice's call for consultation responses on SVRO's on 6th November 2020 

Ours was amongst 549 responses, with approximately 12% of the responses coming from organisations and the remainder being from individuals, including practitioners responding in their individual capacity.

We have outlined the ineffectiveness of existing suspicionless Stop and Search practices and our warning that increasing police powers will inevitably increase racial disparities in Stop and Search. 

The consultation is clear; based on the evidence to date S&S has a disproportionate impact on people from BAME backgrounds, yet this is justified on the basis that BAME groups are more likely to be victims of crime. There is a requirement under the Public Sector Equality Duty to eliminate discrimination as prohibited by the Equality Act 2010, but this has not happened, instead discrimination is being justified on the basis that BAME groups are more likely to be victims of serious violence. Additionally, although not covered by the Equality Act, there is much work to be done to support services within the criminal justice system to identify victim’s vs perpetrators.

Download our response here

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill being reintroduced to Parliament in 2021 contains provisions for a significant extension in the use of police stop and search powers under new Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs).

Read more on the IRR website

Learn more about this in our #EndCJSInequality campaign.