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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? 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 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.

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.

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
Drugs63%
Offensive weapons14%
Stolen property13%
Going equipped8%
Other1%
Firearms1%
Criminal damage1%

How effective are police stop and searches?

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.

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.

Who is getting searched?

Black people were stopped and searched at just over 4 times the rate of white people across London in 2016/17, 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 a slightly lower rate than whites.

There is greater disproportionality under section 60, a suspicionless power which has been increasing in use across London in recent years. Black people are searched at almost 5 times the rate of whites and mixed people at almost one and a half times the rate of whites. Asians and people from Chinese or Other ethnicities were searched at far lower numbers to make any calculations meaningful. The raw numbers indicate that there were a total of 392 searches across London with 155 searches of whites, 150 of black people, 16 of Asians, 14 of mixed people, and 4 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 : 4.2
White : Asian 1 : 1.3
White : Mixed 1 : 1.7
White : Other 1 : 0.9

Section 60 disproportionality ratios

Ethnic groups Ratio
White : Black 1 : 4.8
White : Asian 1 : 0.4
White : Mixed 1 : 1.4
White : Other 1 : 0.3

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