In respect of the police, from 1 April 2005, Code of Practice A, issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, on the exercise by police officers of statutory powers of stop and search provides that when an officer requires a person in a public place to account for themselves, a record of the encounter must be completed at the time and a copy given to the person who has been questioned.
The information required to be completed on the form is set out in paragraph 4.3 of Code of Practice A and includes a requirement to record the ethnicity of the person. The format of the form is a matter for each chief officer of police. Statistics on the use of the power will be published as part of the annual reporting requirements on the exercise of certain police powers under PACE, due for publication in May 2007.
While the PACE provisions apply equally to officers of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) the organisation was not formed until 1 April 2006 and therefore was not operational during the period in which statistical information is being sought.