BLACK people are more than six times as likely to be arrested as white people in West Mercia, a new study has found.

Home Office figures show 97 arrests of black people were made in West Mercia in 2020-21.

West Mercia Police said more needs to be done to understand the causes and impact of disproportionality.

This equated to an estimated 19.2 arrests per 1,000 black people in the area, based on population figures from the 2011 census.

In contrast, there were just 2.9 arrests per 1,000 white people, meaning a black person was 6.6 times more likely to be arrested.

Arrest rates were up on 2019-20, before the coronavirus pandemic, when 16.8 arrests per 1,000 black people and 2.4 per 1,000 white people were made.

Across England and Wales collectively, black people were 3.3 times more likely to be arrested than white people in 2020-21.

In response to the data, West Mercia Police assistant chief constable Rachel Jones said the force recognised a disparity in the numbers of people being arrested, adding there was more that needed to be done.

She said: "Nationally and locally there is work being done to understand the causes and impact of disproportionality and it’s important we look at the root causes of racial disparity.

"Last month the national police race action plan was launched which works towards delivering a police service that is anti-racist and trusted by Black people.

"Within West Mercia Police the police race action plan will form a key part of our new inclusion governance framework.

"Locally, we have already implemented HMICFRS recommendations in relation to stop and search including robust independent scrutiny of stop and search and use of force, use of body worn video and improved training for officers.

"Stop and search, arrests and use of force are closely scrutinised by our independent advisory groups.

"We are focused on explaining or reforming the negative impact and outcomes experienced by black people."

Civil lobbying charity Liberty, which campaigns for justice and equality, accused the police of acting unjustly towards ethnic minorities and called on the Government to reduce police powers.

Emmanuelle Andrews, policy and campaigns manager at Liberty, said the figures "highlight the injustices that black communities face across the criminal justice system".

Ms Andrews said: "The police should not be handed more powers, and their existing ones must be rolled back."