The Metropolitan Police is seeking the views of Londoners on stop and search through a new survey.

The survey asks Londoners what they think about stop and search practises to help inform a charter between local communities and the Met.

It represents an unusual, and long overdue, opportunity for the vast majority of Croydon’s residents to have some direct input to the way the borough is policed. Croydon’s Safer Neighbourhood Board, which is supposed to be a kind of liaison committee between the council and local police, and also a forum for the public, according to the council’s own figures, has not held a single meeting since November… 2019.

The stop and search survey is part of the “New Met for London plan”, under which the Metropolitan Police says that it “is resetting its relationship with London’s communities”.

In a press release issued this week, the Met said, “When done right, stop and search is an effective tool and officers take 4,000 dangerous weapons off our streets every year as a result of this tactic – saving lives.

“When done poorly, it can have a detrimental impact on the relationship between the police and local communities – especially those who are disproportionally affected by stop and search.” This represents a welcome admission by the Met that too often, its officers target black and ethnic minority young men, often without any due cause.

One local MP, Chris Philp, the Tory Government’s policing minister, has made it clear that as far as he is concerned, the Met should carry on stopping and searching.

“This highlights the importance of stop and search,” the MP for Croydon South overtweeted some stats from the local police, who listed three machetes, two Rambo knives, a zombie knife and a meat cleaver having been recovered from 24 stops and searches conducted on the borough’s streets last week. 

Of course, what the police found in their searches also demonstrate that Philp’s promised, but not delivered, legislation outlawing such weapons is yet another failure of his Tory Government.

The Met’s 32-question stop and search survey is online and “focuses on the public’s perception of stop and search, personal experiences of the tactic, training for officers and what could be done better.”

The police reckon that the survey takes approximately 20 minutes. “Results will have a lasting impact on how the Met carries out the tactic to better police London.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who leads the project, said: “A key part of our plan to reform the Met is to work closely with our communities, ensuring we police with their consent.

“Stop and search has always been a contentious issue. When used well it saves lives and is important in keeping Londoners safe, helping us identify criminality and take dangerous weapons like knives and firearms off our streets.

“I know some Londoners have a poor experience of stop and search and that has damaged the trust, confidence and co-operation of some communities. That distrust is higher in communities where stop and search powers are used most often, generally where violent crime, driven by a small minority, is highest.

“This is why we are taking the first steps to reset our approach. We want to hear from Londoners and create an agreement between the Met and the public on how we conduct stop and searches in the future.”


Hayes (Kent) Village Association

The Association was founded in 1933 to protect the interests of residents and preserve the local amenities.

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