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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 Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Email address stopandsearch@mopac.london.gov.uk
PCC website Visit website
PCC's crime plan Read
Key statements on stop and search

​“In January 2012 the MPS introduced STOP IT a new approach to the use of stop and search in London. This brings a renewed focus on reducing violence leading to more arrests and weapons seizures. In addition, there is a greater emphasis on professionalism and intensive supervision of officers’ use of the powers”

How many searches do police do?

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.

April 2013 – March 2014

The police conducted 289,187 stop and searches under PACE Section 1 across the area covered by Metropolitan Police.

This was a reduction of 20% from the previous year.

There were 1,854 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 41% 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 property17%
Offensive weapons10%
Going equipped9%
Other1%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

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.

April 2013 – March 2014

16% of stop and searches conducted under PACE Section 1 lead to an arrest.

7% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest.

Who is getting searched?

Black people are stopped and searched at just over 3 times the rate of white people across London in 2014/15 whilst people from mixed backgrounds were searched at one and a half times the rate of whites. Asians were searched at a marginally higher rate than whites and people from Chinese or other ethnic minority backgrounds are under-represented in searches. These London-wide disproportionality figures have remained largely the same over the last three years.

There is greater disproportionality under section 60, a suspicionless power which increased compared to the previous year. Black people are searched at over 17 times the rate of whites, mixed people are searched at under 7 times that rate and Asians at over twice the rate. People from Chinese or other minority backgrounds were searched at almost twice the rate of whites.

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 : 3.1
White : Asian 1 : 1.1
White : Mixed 1 : 1.5
White : Other 1 : 0.7

Section 60 disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 17.4
White : Asian 1 : 2.4
White : Mixed 1 : 6.9
White : Other 1 : 1.7

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