Monday, May 15, 2017

Stop and search ...another post.

The METS figures on knife crime in recent weeks are clearly horrendous.
Daily we are informed of the latest death or serious injury on London's streets. The media are in a frenzy, politicians demand action, family's want answers and results.
Stepping back from the figures the background to this seems clear. There has been a massive drop in stop and search by the Met over recent years. This in short has been led by a significant interference by politicians and other vocal interest groups in the use of stop and search and its perceived overuse on sections of London's communities. The political and media 'furore in days gone by has left the majority of officers stepping back and saying to themselves ....hands in pockets?...it's not worth it.
There was certainly never any overt pushing back on this by our upper echelons on the issue. Officers felt isolated and understandably backed off themselves.Politicians talked of discipline for 'incorrect  use ' of stop/search.
They came out with some rollout for ' unconscious bias' training?' Never came to my part of the Metropolis  and I haven't heard if it since.
As things do , the wheels turn  and here we are.Lives are lost, the figures heading to 'out of control' , the Met are on the back foot looking for answers. They have created  a 'Task Force' but with the best will in the world they have a very large patch of ground  to cover. Effective control will ultimately be a more proactive approach on Boroughs by local officers.
However how effective boroughs can be proactively is questionable  based on the demands now placed upon them.
Naturally HMG scoff at the notion this may be their fault.
Mondays Standard quotes a spokesperson ' There is no clear relationship between sensible controls on stop and search and knife crime. When stop and search is misused it wastes police time and undermines public confidence in the police.
A typical and expected 'blah' response lifted from the usual cut and paste soundbite  from the press office of HMG.
I have commented on stop and search a number of times on previous posts
It is not the result that is important. It is the fact that officers will stop and search. The fact they do not get some form of perceived end product is irrelevant. Stop and search is a blunt disruptive tactic and unless the HMG give us X ray powers or ability to see the future we will always rely on 'gut instinct'...but it is effective.
I cant see any significant upsurge of its use by rank and file. The distrust of the ground floor of the media, politicians and SMT support is endemic.
This situation is of no use to anyone, especially the communities affected by the violence.

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