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Stop and Search Effectiveness

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

Recent analysis by The Times has indicated that there is no correlation between the increased use of stop and search and a reduction in knife crime. Despite some boroughs seeing a reduction in knife crime, some boroughs which have seen a huge increase is the use of section 60 orders including Enfield and Camden have reported a rise in knife crime in the past year. As such, do you think the way in which stop and search is used in London should be reviewed?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The use of Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) is a preventative power, which is only deployed in circumstances where an officer reasonably believes that incidents involving serious violence may occur in a defined locality. Therefore, drawing conclusions about the number of incidents prevented through the use of a section 60 is challenging as they cannot be measured.

Knife crime offences overall have increased.  However, knife crime with injury, which includes the more serious offences, has been decreasing across London. This includes Enfield and Camden which have seen decreases of 26.7 per cent and 66.7 per cent in January 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.

It is clear from the Public Attitude Survey that the majority of Londoners support stop and search with 85 per cent agreeing that ‘the police should conduct stop and search’.

Stop and search data is regularly scrutinised by my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and by Community Monitoring Groups to provide assurance that stop and search is conducted proportionately and professionally.