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Metropolitan Police

About this focus area

StopWatch is working with youth groups and community-led organisations across London as part of our harm reduction programme.

About this force

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe
Area 620 square miles
Recording stop and account? Yes
Force website Visit website

About the PCC in this area

Note: In London, the Mayor of London acts as the PCC.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Labour)
Email address stopandsearch@mopac.london.gov.uk
PCC website Visit website

How many searches do police do?

April 2015 – March 2016

The police conducted 155,489 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was a reduction of 9% from the previous year.

There were 315 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was an increase of 35% from the previous year.

April 2014 – March 2015

The police conducted 171,504 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was a reduction of 41% from the previous year.

There were 234 stop and searches under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act, a power which doesn’t require individual reasonable suspicion.

This was a reduction of 87% from the previous year.

Stop and account

Metropolitan Police record stop and accounts.

The Metropolitan Police is one of only nine police forces in England and Wales that record stop and accounts.

In 2013/14, a total of 332,036 recorded stop and accounts where carried out across the force. Of these:

  • 205,678 were of whites
  • 50,389 were of blacks
  • 48,256 were of Asians
  • 0 were of people from mixed backgrounds
  • 12,623 were of Chinese people or those from other backgrounds

This means that, across London, black people were subject to an account at 1.1 times the rate of whites, Asians at 0.8 times that rate, mixed people at less than 0.0 times the rate of whites, and those from Chinese or Other backgrounds were encountered at 0.7 times the rate of whites. These disproportionality figures represent London-wide figures and are a combination of all recorded stop and accounts by the City of London and the Metropolitan Police.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs61%
Stolen property15%
Offensive weapons12%
Going equipped8%
Other1%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

April 2015 – March 2016

19% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

10% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2014 – March 2015

19% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

3% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

Black people were stopped and searched at almost 4 times the rate of white people across London in 2015/16, a slight increase on the previous year. Mixed people were searched at almost twice the rate of whites, Asians were searched at marginally higher rates than whites, and people from Chinese or Other backgrounds were searched at lower rates than whites.

There is greater disproportionality under section 60, a suspicionless power, which increased by an extra 83 searches compared to the previous year. Black people are searched at almost 21 times the rate of whites and Asians at two and a half times the rate of whites. Mixed people and Chinese or Other ethnicities were searched at far lower numbers to make any calculations meaningful. In absolute terms, black people were searched 182 times in London compared to 43 whites, 29 Asians, 12 mixed and 9 people from Chinese or other backgrounds.

Note: The disproportionality ratios on this page represent London-wide figures. In other words, it covers both the Metropolitan police force and the City of London police which has a much smaller resident population. All the other data on this page relate solely to the Metropolitan police including the number of stop and searches; reasons for the search; and percentage resulting in arrest.

PACE disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 3.6
White : Asian 1 : 1.2
White : Mixed 1 : 1.7
White : Other 1 : 0.7

Section 60 disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 21
White : Asian 1 : 2.5

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