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Hackney has high rates of stop and search arrests

Police in Hackney. Pic: Sophie Robinson-Tillett

Hackney has one of London’s highest rates of arrest resulting from controversial ‘stop and search’ tactics according to figures reviewed at a meeting on Wednesday.

The Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission met at the Town Hall to discuss the Metropolitan Police produced Stop and Search Monitoring Report.

According to the Met, 14.3 per cent of people stopped and searched by police in Hackney during August 2012 were arrested, the fifth highest figure of any London borough. This compares with only 8.7 per cent in August 2011, and is higher than London’s 11.6 per cent average.

Figures from the report are being reviewed by Hackney’s Scrutiny Commission, who are monitoring use of the technique and the effect it has on the community. There has been a city-wide fall in the number of people stopped which means the report reveals a higher accuracy rate.

Nicola Baboneau, Outreach and Development Coordinator at the Hackney Community Engagement Board, told the meeting that despite the increase in arrests there is still room to improve the way the tactic is used in the area.

She said: “This means using stop and search in a fair, legal and targeted way.

“This can only be done through effective training of police officers, making sure that every encounter is professional and leaves the person searched with a clear understanding of why they have been searched.”

The Community Engagement Board is a community-led forum supported by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The disparity of satisfaction with policing between white residents and those of black or minority groups is also something that the board is looking to work on.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, revealed plans earlier this year “to achieve the highest level of trust and confidence in the police’s use of stop and search as a tactic for keeping our streets safe.”

Hogan-Howe said: “The intelligence threshold to approve this power [to stop and search] will be increased, ensuring there is a stronger case to grant it in the future. As a consequence, the use of stop and search in London will become significantly more effective.”

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2 Responses to Hackney has high rates of stop and search arrests

  1. Release

    November 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    You can record your experience of stop and search using our survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.net/s/stopandsearchinyourcommunity

  2. Hackney Scrutiny

    November 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you for covering this important issue. The Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission has been discussing stop and search figures publicly for some time now, quizzing the Police and allowing the community to have their say. This will be discussed again in January 2013- please feel free to contact us on scrutiny@hackney.gov.uk if you would like further details

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