12 August 2019

Met apologises over Cressida Dick’s stop-and-search group claim

Met chief makes false claim about meeting regularly with StopWatch; spokesperson says sorry for giving a 'contrary impression'

Please read the Guardian website article 'Met apologises over Cressida Dick's stop-and-search group claim' for the full story.

The Metropolitan Police have apologised for giving 'a contrary impression' when its commissioner Cressida Dick told MPs the force met 'really regularly' with StopWatch, which campaigns for the fair and effective use of stop and search, after the charity disputed the claim.

Dick made the comments last month in the home affairs committee after Tory MP Rehman Chishti cited a report by StopWatch which said young people from ethnic minorities were being 'subjected to relentless searching without a demonstrable, legitimate purpose and sometimes several times a day.'

She said: 'I am very pleased to live and work in a city where there are groups who see it as their job to hold the police to account, keep an eye and campaign on certain issues, and that is what is StopWatch does.

'We meet with them really regularly. We know each other very well, but I can’t possibly answer that question because I don’t know who they are talking about, when or where.'

In response to Dick's claims, StopWatch UK Chief Executive Katrina Ffrench told Russia Today: 'We haven't met with Cressida Dick ever and we haven't met with senior Met officials for at least three years.'

"This reeks of politics, personality and perception more than evidence-based policing" @StopWatchUK's CEO Katrina Ffrench after Boris Johnson calls for more stop and search methods.@metpoliceuk apologises after Cressida Dick suggested they've had regular meetings with them. pic.twitter.com/TYbICgwm2M

— RT UK (@RTUKnews) August 13, 2019

When challenged on the Met Chief's claims, a Met spokeswoman issued the following statement: 'The commissioner was referring to a number of groups who hold police to account on stop and search, many of whom we regularly meet and engage with across London and at various levels.

'We do not meet regularly with StopWatch and are sorry if a contrary impression was given.'