You were five times more likely to have been stop-searched by Dyfed-Powys Police in 2019 if you were black than if you were white, according to data published by the force.

Stop searches of black people made up for 0.77% of all searches by Dyfed-Powys in 2019, despite only 0.17% of the area covered by the force being black, according to the 2011 census carried out by the Office for National Statistics.

This means that a black person was 4.61 times more likely to have been searched by the police than you would expect.

In comparison, the combined white population of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, and Powys – the four counties that are policed by Dyfed-Powys Police – makes up for 98.17% of the population.

And yet only 90.26% of all searches by the force were on white people last year – a figure which is nearly 10% less than what it should be.

This means that if you are black, you were 5.01 times more likely to have been searched than if you were a white person.

What about other ethnicities?

Anyone from a minority ethnicity were more likely to have been searched by Dyfed-Powys in the same year when compared to white people.

A person with mixed or multiple ethnic groups was 1.6 times more likely to have been searched than a white person, with searches of this group making up 1.04% of all searches.

And an Asian or Asian British person was 1.42 times more likely to have been searched than their white counterparts, with 1.34% of all searches by Dyfed-Powys Police being on this group.

Dyfed-Powys Response

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “The Dyfed-Powys area has the second lowest black ethnic population in England and Wales. 

“However, it should also be noted that the population of Dyfed and Powys vastly increases through tourism during the course of the year, with a particular influx seen during the summer period.  

“We also know that throughout Dyfed and Powys, people travel to the force area for the purposes of committing crime and, as such, these are factors which alter the demographics of our communities.    

“Indeed, people visiting our force area can also be subject to stop and search, as well as those who permanently reside in our area. 

“All searches conducted on those of Black ethnicity are audited to ensure all searches were lawfully and justifiably conducted”

“When you factor in the population increase as specified above, as well as a population adjustment since the 2011 census, a data comparison against resident population for the four counties policed by Dyfed-Powys is not an accurate reflection of the policing challenge. 

“Similarly, while a relative risk figure of 5.01 may also appear high, this figure should again be interpreted alongside the additional contextual factors highlighted above. 

“All searches conducted on those of Black ethnicity are audited to ensure all searches were lawfully and justifiably conducted.

“Each quarter a comprehensive report is compiled for the Force’s Ethical Use of Police Powers Group to scrutinise and objectively evaluate the searches being conducted within the region of Dyfed-Powys Police.”

“Dyfed-Powys’ response completely fails to accept any responsibility”

Tom Schwartz


It is easy to simply blame the high ratio of searches on black people on tourists travelling from elsewhere.The statement from Dyfed-Powys Police is as weak as it is remorseless.

But when every single police force routinely stop-searches black people more than they should, the argument becomes far less valid.

The below map – from 2018 – shows that police forces across the UK are stopping black people far more often than you would statistically expect:

And the problem is that every force could easily blame this on internal migration. 

But it clearly doesn’t stand up. 

What about the Met Police? They have the most diverse population in all of the UK, with a total of 13.3% of the population of the city said they were black in the 2011 census.

And yet, similarly to the Dyfed-Powys area, a black person was four times more likely to have been searched by the Metropolitan Police than a white person in 2019.

Dyfed-Powys should accept that they are routinely discriminating against black people, and make an attempt to resolve the problem.

Instead, they have decided to turn a blind eye.