Arrests

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • there were 671,126 arrests between April 2018 and March 2019, almost 5,000 fewer arrests than the previous year
  • Black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as White people – there were 32 arrests for every 1,000 Black people, and 10 arrests for every 1,000 White people
  • overall, men were 6 times as likely to be arrested as women – there were 21 arrests for every 1,000 men, and 3 arrests for every 1,000 women
  • Black men were over 3 times as likely to be arrested than White men – there were 60 arrests for every 1,000 Black men, and 17 arrests for every 1,000 White men
  • figures for the 2 years to March 2019 don’t include Lancashire police force as they were unable to provide data

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data measures the number of arrests for 'notifiable offences' – offences for which the police must complete a crime report.

Rates of arrest per 1,000 people are rounded to the nearest whole number. Percentages of arrests in age groups are rounded to one decimal place.

Not included in the data

Lancashire police force is excluded as they were unable to provide arrests data.

The City of London police force area has been excluded due to the small number of people living in the area compared with those who visit.

How arrest rates are calculated

The arrest rate is the number of people arrested from a particular ethnic group out of every 1,000 people from the same group.

A person arrested in a particular area may not necessarily live in that area. Population estimates for police force areas are based on permanent residents of that area as reported in the 2011 Census. Read more about problems using Census data to work out rates.

We use ‘relative likelihoods’ in the data to make comparisons, for example ‘Black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as White people’. You can read more about using relative likelihoods to compare ethnic disparities.

The ethnic groups used in the data

The data uses the 5 ethnic groups from the 2001 Census.

The person arrested states their ethnicity at the time of arrest. If someone doesn’t give their ethnicity, it’s shown as ‘unknown’ in the tables.

In the 13 years to March 2019, the percentage of people arrested whose ethnicity wasn't known ranged from 2% to 12%.

Methodology

A person arrested for a notifiable offence is counted for each time they are arrested, as long as the offence is not related to an offence that happened earlier in the same financial year (April to March).

If it is connected, or if a person has been arrested for more than one notifiable offence on the same occasion, the offence with the highest maximum penalty is recorded.

Someone who is arrested is usually asked for their ethnicity. The circumstances of an arrest may affect the accuracy of this information.

There are 43 police force areas in England and Wales. Data from April 2017 to March 2019 is from 42 police forces. Data from April 2006 to March 2017 is from all 43 police forces.

In the data file

See download the data for the number of arrests by area and ethnicity.

3. By ethnicity

Arrest rate per 1,000 people, and number of arrests, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Rate per 1,000 people Number of arrests
All 12 671,126
Asian 12 42,872
Bangladeshi 14 6,291
Indian 6 8,527
Pakistani 14 15,367
Asian other 15 12,687
Black 32 60,116
Black African 23 22,697
Black Caribbean 33 19,611
Black other 64 17,808
Mixed 18 21,832
Mixed White/Asian 7 2,246
Mixed White/Black African 16 2,593
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 26 10,969
Mixed other 21 6,024
White 10 452,320
White British 9 400,914
White Irish 12 6,224
White other 18 45,182
Other including Chinese 12 11,148
Chinese 3 1,289
Any other 18 9,859
Unknown N/A* 82,838

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Arrests By ethnicity Summary

Lancashire Police were unable to provide arrests data for this period. Population estimates for Lancashire have been removed from population figures when calculating arrest rates per 1,000 people.

The data shows that:

  • there were 671,126 arrests in England and Wales, a rate of 12 arrests per 1,000 people
  • Black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as White people – there were 32 arrests for every 1,000 Black people, and 10 arrests for every 1,000 White people
  • people with Mixed ethnicity were nearly twice as likely to be arrested as White people – there were 18 arrests for every 1,000 people with Mixed ethnicity

4. By ethnicity over time

Arrest rate per 1,000 people, and number of arrests, by ethnicity over time
All Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese
Time All Rate per 1,000 All Number of arrests Asian Rate per 1,000 Asian Number of arrests Black Rate per 1,000 Black Number of arrests Mixed Rate per 1,000 Mixed Number of arrests White Rate per 1,000 White Number of arrests Other inc Chinese Rate per 1,000 Other inc Chinese Number of arrests
2006/07 27 1,474,843 19 69,591 57 105,145 34 40,882 24 1,133,468 21 19,408
2007/08 27 1,475,266 20 74,755 59 109,206 34 40,726 25 1,170,527 22 21,103
2008/09 27 1,462,139 21 78,422 60 111,271 33 40,256 25 1,178,536 22 20,931
2009/10 25 1,385,322 21 78,124 60 110,977 33 40,133 24 1,103,206 21 20,249
2010/11 25 1,353,740 21 79,540 61 113,085 34 40,779 23 1,075,562 21 19,556
2011/12 22 1,225,123 19 72,361 55 102,326 31 37,516 21 972,938 18 17,289
2012/13 20 1,068,823 18 65,277 48 88,540 27 32,587 18 844,957 16 15,398
2013/14 19 1,021,356 17 64,304 46 86,245 26 31,126 17 799,754 16 14,712
2014/15 17 941,692 16 60,660 45 83,344 24 29,524 16 730,376 15 13,876
2015/16 16 879,570 16 59,096 44 81,895 24 28,542 14 648,979 15 14,249
2016/17 14 762,419 14 51,612 38 70,944 21 24,836 12 552,620 13 12,016
2017/18 12 675,461 12 45,603 35 64,670 19 23,137 10 485,885 11 10,810
2018/19 12 671,126 12 42,872 32 60,116 18 21,832 10 452,320 12 11,148

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Arrests By ethnicity over time Summary

Lancashire Police were unable to provide arrests data for the 2 most recent years. Arrest and population estimates for Lancashire have been removed from all figures so you can compare between years. You can download the data for Lancashire from April 2006 to March 2017.

The data shows that, in the 13 years to March 2019:

  • the overall arrest rate in England and Wales fell from 27 to 12 arrests per 1,000 people, and numbers of arrests decreased by over 800,000
  • arrest rates for people from the Asian, White, and Other (including Chinese) ethnic groups were the same as or lower than average in almost every year of the period studied – the rates for people from the Black and Mixed ethnic groups were consistently higher than average
  • the arrest rate for White people went down from 24 arrests per 1,000 to 10 arrests per 1,000 – a decrease of 59%
  • the arrest rate for people with a Mixed ethnicity went down from 34 arrests per 1,000 to 18 arrests per 1,000 – a decrease of 47%
  • the arrest rate for people from the Other ethnic group went down from 21 arrests per 1,000 people to 12 per 1,000 – a decrease of 41%
  • the arrest rate for Black people went down from 57 arrests per 1,000 people to 32 per 1,000 – a decrease of 43%
  • the arrest rate for people from the Asian ethnic group went down from 19 arrests per 1,000 people to 12 per 1,000 – a decrease of 36%

5. By ethnicity and area

Arrest rate per 1,000 people, and number of arrests, by ethnicity and police force area
All Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese
Geography All Rate per 1,000 All Number of arrests Asian Rate per 1,000 Asian Number of arrests Black Rate per 1,000 Black Number of arrests Mixed Rate per 1,000 Mixed Number of arrests White Rate per 1,000 White Number of arrests Other inc Chinese Rate per 1,000 Other inc Chinese Number of arrests
All 12 671,126 12 42,872 32 60,116 18 21,832 10 452,320 12 11,148
Avon and Somerset 10 15,745 12 405 41 1,277 21 582 9 12,901 9 135
Bedfordshire 11 6,472 8 644 18 529 14 251 6 2,687 11 94
Cambridgeshire 10 7,751 8 330 30 301 12 189 6 4,193 18 223
Cheshire 11 11,046 12 159 75 244 11 113 10 10,344 18 94
Cleveland 17 9,703 18 316 65 205 14 81 17 9,021 17 74
Cumbria 15 7,512 19 55 109 63 26 64 15 7,217 35 56
Derbyshire 10 10,383 17 640 52 522 24 346 9 8,656 16 116
Devon and Cornwall 7 11,719 14 161 60 246 8 127 6 9,348 8 74
Dorset 9 6,573 11 115 108 348 14 134 8 5,700 12 72
Durham 14 8,775 18 94 58 61 14 61 14 8,448 16 48
Dyfed-Powys 10 5,070 12 50 78 67 15 49 10 4,838 6 13
Essex 10 16,652 10 399 32 1,126 23 624 8 12,621 12 186
Gloucestershire 8 4,706 14 145 66 342 20 169 7 3,848 26 78
Greater Manchester 10 26,321 10 2,392 26 1,917 17 1,028 9 19,432 8 416
Gwent 12 6,869 21 214 62 198 10 57 11 6,137 43 152
Hampshire 9 17,706 8 470 54 946 16 507 8 14,260 9 192
Hertfordshire 10 11,394 6 391 17 527 14 378 5 4,878 15 235
Humberside 21 18,958 9 110 26 117 11 86 8 7,144 10 72
Kent 17 29,772 11 606 45 1,026 16 432 10 16,394 26 406
Lancashire N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*
Leicestershire 11 11,476 10 1,512 45 1,117 12 245 10 8,128 12 224
Lincludingolnshire 12 8,581 15 86 74 190 19 118 11 7,876 34 96
London, City of N/A* 1,519 N/A* 197 N/A* 212 N/A* 81 N/A* 710 N/A* 70
Merseyside 14 19,322 15 282 49 713 12 257 13 17,242 13 273
Metropolitan Police 14 112,779 11 14,750 29 31,972 17 6,994 10 49,426 11 4,655
Norfolk 12 10,071 9 85 58 268 12 124 7 5,732 12 65
North Wales 16 11,229 10 61 64 96 23 113 16 10,729 23 102
North Yorkshire 13 10,047 12 119 33 118 20 151 11 8,565 26 161
Northamptonshire 14 9,759 13 304 57 973 24 336 12 7,597 23 127
Northumbria 15 20,831 15 553 50 448 10 120 14 19,464 3 51
Nottinghamshire 13 13,739 11 523 38 1,037 18 561 10 9,980 12 178
South Wales 17 21,897 14 510 56 708 20 350 16 19,125 13 250
South Yorkshire 12 15,591 9 467 17 427 10 218 6 7,280 5 132
Staffordshire 11 11,559 19 659 53 449 24 343 10 9,865 20 147
Suffolk 10 7,345 8 90 37 253 8 99 6 4,286 21 96
Surrey 8 9,507 10 550 49 607 12 281 7 7,539 10 183
Sussex 11 17,160 10 399 68 962 16 476 8 12,118 10 163
Thames Valley 14 31,373 15 2,959 41 2,830 33 1,830 11 20,672 10 322
Warwickshire 9 4,869 4 83 18 79 6 47 3 1,343 5 24
West Mercia 9 10,446 4 86 11 54 4 59 2 1,934 4 22
West Midlands 13 36,627 12 5,795 29 4,677 22 2,150 12 22,667 10 620
West Yorkshire 16 34,684 18 4,931 32 1,497 29 1,402 14 25,475 13 405
Wiltshire 11 7,588 10 175 60 367 20 199 10 6,500 11 46

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Arrests By ethnicity and area Summary

Lancashire Police were unable to provide arrests data for this period. Population estimates for Lancashire have been removed from the 'All' population figures when calculating arrest rates per 1,000 people.

The data shows that:

  • Black people had the highest arrest rates per 1,000 people in every police force area where there was data

  • the biggest difference in the arrest rates between Black people and White people was in Dorset, where Black people were almost 14 times as likely to be arrested as White people

  • in Devon and Cornwall, the arrest rate for people from the Asian ethnic group was 2 times higher than the rate for White people
  • in Thames Valley, the arrest rate for people with Mixed ethnicity was 3 times the rate for White people
  • in London (the Metropolitan Police force area), 52% of people arrested were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined – the highest percentage out of all police force areas
  • in London, there were 18 arrests for every 1,000 people from ethnic minorities, compared with 10 arrests for every 1,000 White people
  • Humberside had the highest overall arrest rate, with 21 arrests for every 1,000 people
  • the police forces with the lowest overall arrest rates were Devon and Cornwall (7 arrests for every 1,000 people), followed by Gloucestershire and Surrey (8 arrests per 1,000 people)
  • differences in the arrest rates in England and Wales in part reflect population differences in those areas – for example, many more people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups live in London than in North Wales

6. By ethnicity and sex

Arrest rate per 1,000 people, and number of arrests, by ethnicity and sex
All Female Male
Ethnicity All Rate per 1,000 All Number of arrests Female Rate per 1,000 Female Number of arrests Male Rate per 1,000 Male Number of arrests
All 12 671,126 3 97,117 21 574,009
Asian 12 42,872 2 2,925 21 39,947
Bangladeshi 14 6,291 2 347 26 5,944
Indian 6 8,527 1 722 11 7,805
Pakistani 14 15,367 2 890 26 14,477
Asian other 15 12,687 2 966 29 11,721
Black 32 60,116 6 6,063 60 54,053
Black African 23 22,697 4 2,132 43 20,565
Black Caribbean 33 19,611 6 2,051 64 17,560
Black other 64 17,808 14 1,880 113 15,928
Mixed 18 21,832 5 3,222 31 18,610
Mixed White/Asian 7 2,246 2 306 11 1,940
Mixed White/Black African 16 2,593 4 352 27 2,241
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 26 10,969 8 1,628 45 9,341
Mixed other 21 6,024 6 936 36 5,088
White 10 452,320 3 71,718 17 380,602
White British 9 400,914 3 64,857 16 336,057
White Irish 12 6,224 3 939 21 5,285
White other 18 45,182 4 5,922 33 39,260
Other including Chinese 12 11,148 3 1,549 19 9,599
Chinese 3 1,289 2 349 5 940
Any other 18 9,859 5 1,200 28 8,659
Unknown N/A* 82,838 N/A* 11,640 N/A* 71,198

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV)

Summary of Arrests By ethnicity and sex Summary

Lancashire Police were unable to provide arrests data for this period. Population estimates for Lancashire have been removed from the figures when calculating arrest rates per 1,000 men or women.

This data shows that:

  • there were 3 arrests for every 1,000 women, and 21 arrests for every 1,000 men
  • Black men were over 3 times as likely to be arrested than White men – there were 60 arrests for every 1,000 Black men, and 17 arrests for every 1,000 White men
  • Black women were twice as likely to be arrested as White women – there were 6 arrests for every 1,000 Black women, and 3 arrests for every 1,000 White women
  • men from the Asian ethnic group were 13 times as likely to be arrested as women – there were 21 arrests for every 1,000 men, and 2 arrests for every 1,000 women, the biggest gap between men and women from the same ethnic group

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Home Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Figures on stop and search incidents resulting in arrest create greater transparency in the use of stop and search in England and Wales. They enhance accountability by enabling the public to monitor police forces at a national and local level.

The data is used to form a national picture of the trends in stop and search, and resulting arrests. It informs discussions about crime, policing and criminal justice in government and academia, and ensures the public are accurately informed.

8. Download the data

Arrests data March 2006 to March 2013 - Spreadsheet (csv) 29 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, gender, age group, geography, numbers of arrests, rates of arrests, population estimates

Arrests data March 2013 to March 2019 - Spreadsheet (csv) 25 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, gender, age group, geography, numbers of arrests, rates of arrests, population estimates