A TOP policeman said he recognises a disproportionate number of Asian and African Caribbean men have been stopped and searched in Wycombe.

Superintendant Ed McLean, Wycombe’s Area Commander, said his team was working hard to address those concerns and was confident his officers are using their powers appropriately.

Figures show the number of stop and search procedures carried out in Wycombe had more than halved in the last four years. Police stopped 1576 people last year compared to 3901 in 2009.

But the Wycombe Labour Group said it was still concerned a higher percentage of non-white men were still being targeted by police.

Cllr Rachel Knight said “It is good news that the number of stop and searches has halved in Wycombe.

“However, I am concerned that the police are still stopping a higher percentage of non-white men than you would expect.

“I know that the British Asian and Caribbean communities in Wycombe do everything they can to co-operate with the police.

“Why are so many non-white men still being stopped and searched? Why are the police discriminating against non-white men?”

Figures show that of the 1576 people searched in High Wycombe in 2013, 792 were described as white, white Irish or ‘other white’.

Officers stopped 411 people classed as Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani, Asian Bangladeshi, Chinese or ‘other Asian’ groups in the same year.

Meanwhile, 161 people identified as black African, black Caribbean or ‘other black’ were stopped last year, with officers exercising their powers to search 108 people of a mixed race background.

Supt McLean said: “Stop and search is a vital power which is designed to assist the police in preventing and deterring crimes from occurring.

“It is predominantly used by officers to address emerging crime patterns, based on intelligence, community information and public interactions.

“We recognise there are a disproportionate number of young males from the Asian and African Caribbean communities who are searched.”

He said all procedures were carefully monitored and reviewed by a supervisor in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

Supt McLean added: “Year-on-year we have seen the numbers of stop and search procedures and crime reduce across the police area.

“We have worked hard with our communities and partners to address concerns about disproportionate procedures and we have seen positive outcomes, including the recovery of items and arrests, increase.

“I am confident that my officers are using this power appropriately to help reduce and deter crime.”