News 1 February 2021

Only 6 Met Police Officers Disciplined Over Misuse Of Stop & Search Since 2014

1 February 2021

Only six Metropolitan Police officers have been disciplined over stop and search misuse since 2014, despite the force receiving almost 5,000 complaints.

According to data obtained by the Press Association under Freedom of Information Laws, 4,917 allegations were made in the last seven years regarding the misuse of the stop and search tactic by the Met Police.

Just 17 officers have faced disciplinary proceedings, and allegations were proven in only six of those cases.

As a result of those six cases, four officers received management advice, one received a written warning while the other was presented with a final warning.

Speaking on the figures, former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “Nothing has caused more antagonism between the community and the police than the misuse of stop and search.

“Obviously there is a role for stop and search, but the Met Police management need to take enforcing the rules around it much more seriously.

“This situation can only undermine community confidence in the Met Police at a very difficult time.”

The Met Police said the disciplinary action figures relate only to breaches of Code A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace) 1984 – which governs the exercise by police officers of statutory powers to search a person or a vehicle without first making an arrest.

Of the 5,000 complaint allegations related to stop and search, 748 of them were recorded as a breach of Code A between 2014 and 2020. This means fewer than 1% resulted in any disciplinary action.

Other allegations, such as rudeness, would be recorded under a different allegation type.

Commander Jane Connors, Met lead for stop and search, said: “Stop and search keeps Londoners safe and removes lethal weapons from our streets.

“We need to hear from those who are not happy – we welcome this scrutiny and drive for continual improvement.

“We would expect to see a rise in complaints considering the increase of stop and search encounters in 2020.

“However we are not complacent and are committed to ensuring that every encounter is conducted professionally with respect and courtesy.

“We understand the impact that even a thoroughly professional encounter can have on an individual stopped and searched, and that its impact can resonate more widely with communities.

“We want to work with our communities to increase their trust and confidence in their policing service.”