Saturday, February 08, 2014

Stop and besmirch

The MET has again been blessed with the crumbs of wisdom passed down from the table of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee.

'A report by the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee found that a concerted effort by the force to cut the number of stops was having a positive effect on the perception of young people towards officers – as well as doubling the arrest rate arising from their actions.However the report said that the use of the measure was still too variable – with patchy record keeping and some incidents not being documented at all.

The report chaired by Assembly Member Jenny Jones, also said the force's leadership still had “some way to go to convince every officer that the intelligence led and respectful use of stop and search is essential to the long-term effectiveness of policing”.

A series of recommendations suggests that “full and accurate recording” and better oversight of stops are needed, that people should be helped to understand their rights to challenge poor practice and that greater public feedback should be promoted.

Speaking after the publication of the report, Ms Jones welcomed the Met’s success in cutting the number of stops – but said more still needed to be done.

She added: “While the heavy handed use of stop and search has seen a welcome decline, 800 people a day are still searched by the Met without any resulting arrest. You have to ask if this is a good use of police time and resources.”

“If those stops are made without good reason and if they are conducted without common courtesy, that’s 800 Londoners, plus their friends and families, with a potential grievance against the police.

“The Met cannot afford to alienate another generation of young people by officers’ heavy handed use of their powers. The leadership at Scotland Yard appears to understand that, now they have to convince every one of their officers to put that into practice.”

The MET welcomes the Assembly report and that it had already introduced a package of measures to ensure that stop and search was used more effectively....etc....'

The slant from Ms Jones and her fellow members is clear.

The uniformed oppressors of  London's citizenry can only be the ones at fault if a stop search is deemed confrontational, resented, based only on the ' I don't like the look of 'im' code in PACE.

The cherubs that walk our streets and estates cannot be at fault when a police officer decides to put 'hands in pockets', courtesy and respect can only flow one way.

The experts on the Committee miss the point completely.

I have posted on this topic before

Policing has been and always will be based, at some point, on confrontation in certain situations.
We deal with people who do not like us, who see us a  barrier to a certain way of life. We enforce laws and in consequence do not allow some within our community to do what they believe they are 'entitled' to do.

Stop and search is not about an arrest after every encounter.

Officers are expected to be multi skilled but as yet I haven't seen an NCALT training pack giving us the skill set for X ray vision and the gift of foresight.

It is that there are officers out there willing to place themselves in potentially confrontational situations to do their job. A stop search is not about an end result of an arrest, it is about having reasonable grounds to search and being able to justify those grounds.

It is the deterrent factor.

That the 'alienated youth' when they see an officer on the street, that the officer may find need to search for drugs,weapons etc... giving rise to a disinclination to 'carry'

I don't know how detailed the breakdown of the stop search figures are as Ms Jones has only commented on the figures for stops leading to arrests. I would place good money if we go into the background of those stopped, they are shall we say ' known to us' and that the majority of the voters in the Metropolis would be quite happy for us to continue to keep on 'engaging' them in the street

Stop search is falling but I feel it is more that officers realise they are putting themselves on offer doing this side of the work.

The support, judging by the wording of Ms Jones report, is not there from the politicians.
In truth it likely never was.

And  suspect the majority of  officers don't believe the Senior Leadership Team at the Yard  have our backs either.

A thanks to Police Oracle for the article 



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Op Blunt once in hackney and copped a load of abuse off a group of mums until I explained I was there to stop gang on gang Vince between two estates and that even though their boys had nothing on them they knew the dangers now and the gang members knew what we were up to! I then added hopefully that it eould prevent any more stabbing sand in this area it would mean black on ack because of the demographics! Their attitude changed! Stop and search works that why they want to stop it as you can't measure deterrence yet! Stop and searched a known burglar went down as a negative search a month later Burg Squad Ds asks for a statement as my stop placed him in the area just before a burglary that he was forensically linked to! That was enough for him too plead at first hearing at Crown Court!

12:02 PM  
Blogger Officer Dibble said...


Good examples of why it works

Which is why they want to change it or cut it back

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog - S&S has dropped because Response officers have withdrawn from all but the most stone-bonker or unavoidable of searches, thanks to threatening/patronising/untrue lectures from supervisors, trainers and NSY brass.

As Anon says above, sometimes the stop is itself the 'intelligence' - and disruption and presence is often as important as a box-ticking result, especially in areas known for gang violence.

Aren't people always complaining about visibility? Which is more important, letting middle-class law abiding citizens know we are there, or letting gangs and crims know we are on top of them and in their pockets?


11:42 AM  
Blogger Officer Dibble said...


Thanks for your comment.

To use the management speak of our leaders we are the 'customer facing' end of the business.

The 9-5 office experts and the armchair commentators don't get it.

4:19 PM  

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