Last updated 10 February 2020 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
- there were 675,461 arrests in 2017/18, a fall of 9% on the previous year
- Black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as White people – there were 35 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 22 arrests for every 1,000 men, and 4 arrests for every 1,000 women
- Black women were more than twice as likely to be arrested as White women – there were 7 arrests for every 1,000 Black women, and 3 arrests for every 1,000 White women
- figures for 2017/18 exclude Lancashire Police as they were unable to provide data on arrests
The ethnic categories used in this data
The data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Other ethnic group (including Chinese)
There’s a separate category for people whose ethnicity was unknown.
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Rate per 1,000 people||Number of arrests|
|Other inc Chinese||11||10,810|
Summary of Arrests By ethnicity Summary
3. By ethnicity over time
|All||Asian||Black||Mixed||White||Other inc 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|
Summary of Arrests By ethnicity over time Summary
4. By ethnicity and area
|Geography||All||Asian||Black||Mixed||White||Other inc Chinese|
|Rate per 1,000||Rate per 1,000||Rate per 1,000||Rate per 1,000||Rate per 1,000||Rate per 1,000|
|Avon and Somerset||10||11||43||19||9||8|
|Devon and Cornwall||7||14||63||8||6||9|
|London, City of||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*||N/A*|
Summary of Arrests By ethnicity and area Summary
5. By ethnicity and gender
|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|
|Other inc Chinese||11||10,810||3||1,468||19||9,342|
Summary of Arrests By ethnicity and gender Summary
A person arrested for a notifiable offence is counted for each occasion on which they are arrested, provided that the offence is not connected or related to an offence for which the person has already been subject to arrest during the year.
If it is connected, or if a person has been arrested for more than one notifiable offences on the same occasion, the offence with the highest maximum penalty is recorded.
Arresting officers are required to record details of an arrest at the time of arrest, or as soon as possible after. A universal code of practice (PACE code G) ensures arrests are standardised across forces, both in terms of the processes involved, and the data recorded.
The person arrested states their ethnicity at the time of arrest.
Police forces have their own internal auditing methods to ensure that data is accurate and up to date before it's submitted to the Home Office.
Rates of arrest per 1,000 people are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Further technical information
Police forces' recording of arrests, and use of the data, are monitored by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
HMICFRS carries out regular inspections and produce reports on the inspections. Home Office statisticians undertake quality assurance checks which include looking for missing and incomplete data, inconsistencies in the data, and extreme values.
Trend analyses also look for unusual or unexpected trends in the data. Any inconsistencies or unusual trends are flagged with forces, who are requested to either explain the trends, or resubmit to amend the data.
All data is then confirmed by forces during a data reconciliation before the figures are published.
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Purpose of data source
Figures on stop and search reported to the Home Office are used to 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. It informs discussions about crime, policing and criminal justice in government and academia, and ensures the public are accurately informed.
8. Download the data
This file contains the following: Time, Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Police force area, Number of arrests, Population, Rate per 1,000 population, Proportions of arrests
9. Related content
Prosecutions and convictions
A higher percentage of White defendants were convicted in 2017 than those from Black and Mixed backgrounds.
Victims of crime
People from the Mixed and Asian ethnic groups were more likely to be victims of crime than White people in 2017 to 2018.
Stop and search
There were 3 stop and searches for every 1,000 White people in 2017 to 2018, and 29 for every 1,000 Black people.
Research and analysis: Black Caribbean ethnic group
A summary of facts and figures about people from the Black Caribbean ethnic group.