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Metropolitan Police

About this focus area

StopWatch is working with various youth groups and community-led organisations across London as part of our harm reduction approach to managing experiences of stops and stop and searches.

About this force

Commissioner Cressida Dick
Area 620 square miles
Recording stop and account? Unknown
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 2018 – March 2019

The police conducted 172,237 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was an increase of 30% from the previous year.

There were 9,614 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 424% from the previous year.

April 2017 – March 2018

The police conducted 132,783 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was a reduction of 3% from the previous year.

There were 1,836 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 368% from the previous year.

April 2016 – March 2017

The police conducted 137,553 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was a reduction of 11% from the previous year.

There were 392 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 24% from the previous year.

Stop and account

Metropolitan Police do not 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.

The Metropolitan Police stopped recording Stop and Account as of 2018.

What are searches targeted at?

Target Proportion of searches
Drugs59%
Offensive weapons21%
Stolen property12%
Going equipped6%
Other1%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage<1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

Drugs accounts for the single largest reason for searches carried out by Met police officers (59% in 2018/19) instead of being directed at serious or violent crimes.

April 2018 – March 2019

15% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

5% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

April 2017 – March 2018

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 2016 – March 2017

17% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

15% 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 under five times the rate of white people across London in 2018/19, roughly the same as the previous year. Asians and those of mixed ethnicity were searched at approximately one and a half times the rate of whites. People from Chinese or 'other' backgrounds were very slightly overrepresented compared with whites.

There is greater disproportionality under section 60, a power which does not require officers to have suspicion in order to search a person. Black people were searched at 11 times the rate of whites, mixed people at just under three times, Asians twice, and Chinese or 'other' people just under one and a half times the rate of whites across the Capital. The raw numbers indicate that the total number of section 60 searches has risen drastically on the previous year, from 1,838 to 9,599 searches. Of the 9,599 searches conducted in 2018/19, most (4,101) were of black people, followed by 1,678 of whites, 911 of Asians, 392 of mixed people, and 193 of 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 : 4.3
White : Asian 1 : 1.6
White : Mixed 1 : 1.4
White : Other 1 : 1.1

Section 60 disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 11.0
White : Asian 1 : 1.9
White : Mixed 1 : 2.8
White : Other 1 : 1.4

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