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.”