Latest statistics from the Home Office show West Yorkshire Police conducted thousands of more stop and searches last year in comparison to the year before.

Home Office data shows officers in West Yorkshire used stop and search powers 21,047 times from March 2020-2021, up from 14,731 the year before.

Despite this rise, the proportion of searches which led to an arrest fell from 18 per cent to 15 per cent over this period.

StopWatch UK said most searches cause more problems than they solve.

The figures also show that across England and Wales, black people were significantly more likely to be searched than white people, though slightly less so than the year before.

In West Yorkshire, they were 3.8 times more likely to be stopped, compared to 4 in 2019-2020.

Habib Kadiri, research, and policy manager at the police monitoring organisation, said: "What is exceptional is how racial disparities persisted even during a global pandemic, proving that the police never stopped working tirelessly to overpolice people of colour.”

Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller  of West Yorkshire Police said:

"Stop and search powers are a vital tool which officers can use to keep communities safe from criminal activity, but it is important they are used correctly and only when reasonable grounds exist.

"The latest HMICFRS PEEL inspection of West Yorkshire Police issued today on November 24 rated the force as ‘outstanding’ at treating the public with fairness and respect.

"It said the force had 'done significant work to analyse its stop and search activity, and in the overwhelming majority of cases there are reasonable grounds for that activity to take place. There is good governance in place to make sure that stop and search is scrutinised properly by senior leaders. The force can show that it treats the communities of West Yorkshire fairly when they are subject to stop and search.'

"It also noted that all the searches carried out on persons from Ethnic Minority/Minorities had reasonable grounds for being carried out

"West Yorkshire Police itself is the country’s fourth largest police force and police’s an ethnically diverse range of communities across the county.

"While it is clear people from Ethnic Minorities or Minorities backgrounds are generally overrepresented in stop and search figures here as they are nationally, the disproportionality rate is significantly lower in West Yorkshire at less than half the national average.

"Police forces and senior officers continue to examine disparity in stop and search data and work directly with local communities to listen to their concerns.

"The Force has also continued to roll out unconscious bias training to all front line officers and staff.

"It remains the case that stop and search powers are subject to robust scrutiny and West Yorkshire Police was one of the first Forces to join the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme in 2015.

"As a force we record every stop and search on body worn camera to further increase accountability and we also regularly speak with Independent Advisory Groups and Independent Scrutiny Panels, to see how we can improve the process."