The Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House has given his views on the use of Stop and Search in the London Evening Standard – and backed officers using the policing tactic.
Sir Stephen told the newspaper that Stop and Search in London does disproportionately affect black young men to ‘focus on where the problem lies’.
Sir Stephen said the tactic had brought in a haul of around 300 knives every month.
“We don’t stop and search hundreds of people every day in Green Park and St James’s Park because they are not hotspots of violence,” Sir Stephen told the newspaper.
“We do it where we know there are real problems with violence, with weapons, which is why every knife we seize in stop and search is potentially another life saved.
“We’re seizing something like 300 knives a month off the streets. It’s huge. People talk about disproportionate, ‘you are stopping young black men’.
“Young black men are dying on the streets of London and are being stabbed on the streets of London and, candidly, are also stabbing on the streets of London.”
He added: “The concern from the general public should not be that the police are stopping disproportionately, it should be are you stopping in a biased, racial way?
“Are you basing your stop and search on the fact that this person is black or basing it on the fact that this person is in a high-crime area and frankly young black men of this area are carrying knives or being stabbed by other people carrying knives?
“Of course, our stopping and searching is disproportionate because if it were proportionate, you’d be stopping the same number of people across every single community across London, from north to south to east to west, which is nonsense.
“We’d be stopping a high number of people in their eighties because there’s a lot of elderly people in London. We don’t do that. We don’t stop and search that many women because they don’t tend to be involved in street violence.”
Sir Stephen added: “People pay us to be professionals and use our brains and focus our activity where the problem lies and we know that young black men are far more likely to be victims of knife crime and violence and homicide than their white counterparts.
“We are constantly reviewing our training with our officers to get it as professional as possible, but we will be using stop and search because it’s a crime-fighting tool, and it saves lives.”
The original article is here https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/met-police-london-stop-and-search-racism-b918169.html