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Theresa May to announce public stop and search consultation

POLICE POWER: Stop and search has proved unpopular in the black community (PA)

HOME SECRETARY Theresa May will today announce how the Government plans to move forward with the police's controversial use of its stop and search powers.

May is expected to say she understands stop and search is a power that presents significant concerns to many in the community, and is not seen in a positive light.

The home secretary is set to announce there will be a public consultation on stop and search, allowing people to have their say on how the policy should be reformed.

Certain notable figures have labelled it an expression of institutional police racism - Stuart Lawrence, the brother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, earlier this year accused the police of "racially harassing" him with the power, saying they had stopped him at least 25 times in his life.

Scotland Yard dismissed his claim yesterday, and Lawrence said he wants an independent inquiry.

The Conservative Party has been a long-time proponent of the police power, but the May's announcement will mark a shift in how her party is willing to adapt the policy.

Only five years ago, before David Cameron had been elected as prime minister, he said there was a need to "free the police to do far more stopping and far more searching".

Also, the public consultation has been seen as a way for the Conservatives to better align themselves with black voters and understand community priorities, while improving relations between young black males and police.

The announcement comes after May last year asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to report on how the police use stop and search.

It has been widely reported that black men are much more likely to experience a police stop and search than white males.

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