APCC EDHR Lead David Munro Comments on Stop and Search


“It is absolutely right that senior police officers use their wide experience and judgement to examine critically all their powers and duties, consulting with the communities they serve to find new and innovative approaches to keep everyone safe.

“I welcome, therefore, that the Government is looking to work with the police to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency in the use of this power. I also welcome moves to explore new approaches to tackle the appalling increase in knife crime in London, such as taking a ‘public health’ approach to those caught with a knife, through providing them with education on the risks of carrying a weapon, rather than a criminal record.

“We have seen an increase in effectiveness in Stop and Search over the last few years – last year 17% of Stops under the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act led to an arrest, the highest rate since data collection began. However, statistically those who identify as BME are 4 times as likely to be stopped and search than those who identify as white; meanwhile those who identify as Black are 9.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched. As we work together to find the way forward, we must bear in mind the impact that any changes could have on BME communities; we must not return to the practices of a decade ago, when stop and search was used with much greater frequency than it is now, was poorly regulated and used much more indiscriminately.

“Stop and Search remains a vital police weapon in the fight against crime. When it is properly targeted, regulated, and intelligence-led, as is generally the case now, it contributes well to making all our communities safer. I look forward to working with colleagues across policing and our communities, to ensure that this power continues to be used effectively, efficiently, and proportionately”.


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