Officers want more stop and search says Federation Chairman
Police officers would welcome greater use of stop and search to help drive down violent crime in the capital, the Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has said.
Ken Marsh told LBC radio yesterday that stop and search was an effective deterrent and one of the biggest tools available to officers on the streets.
He was speaking after a public consultation was launched on proposed new laws to allow officers to target people suspected of carrying corrosive substances.
Mr Marsh said: “[Stop and search] is a massive deterrent in terms of stopping people carrying knives and other weapons.
"The problem for us has been, and is, that this Government has played hard and fast with how my colleagues should and shouldn’t [use it]. So you have seen numbers dramatically drop recently. But I welcome any support for stop and search because that is what we need.”
Stop and search has been criticised for disproportionately targeting people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
But Mr Marsh told Ian Payne’s show on Sunday: “Transparency is the key word here. Lets have a look at where we are in policing.
"In the Met Police alone we have nearly 5,500 BME officers and quite rightly. I would like to see even more. All my uniformed colleagues have body-worn cameras. Every single one records a record of what has taken place.
"I don’t believe that any of my colleagues in this day and age, in 2018, set out with the intention of stopping a young black male or young ethnic person. I don’t believe that. They do it because they believe an offence is prevalent or about to take place.
“In certain areas where there is a lot of crime taking place then stop and search has to be used as a tool. We have to break down this thing about what is the creed and color of someone that we are stopping. We are stopping someone because there is a reason to do so. And you have to stand behind that as a police officer.”
Mr Marsh welcomed proposals to give officers new powers to check for corrosive substances, but said he would rather officers detain people and take them back to the station to test for suspected acid, rather than them carry around more kit on their tool belt.
To hear the interview in full, forward to 1.05.30 at: https://www.lbc.co.uk/national/radio/aod/?episodeId=f9d79147-e06b-4722-b6ea-7f889517c486