Agenda item

Q4 Stop and Search and Use of Force update - 2021-22

Report of the Commissioner of the City of London Police.


The Committee received a Report of the Commissioner of the City of London Police concerning Stop and Search and Use of Force in Quarter 4.


After officers provided an introduction, a number of queries were raised:


In response to a query concerning the differentiation in the dip sampling data, officers confirmed that, 20% of the samples were considered “best practice” in how stop and searches should be done, with the remaining 80%, whilst deemed professional and lawful, were not considered to be the best examples to utilise in a training environment. Noting Members’ interest in this area, officers would try to submit additional quantitative data in future which focused more on the identifiable trends; it was also pointed out that The Independent Advisory and Scrutiny Group (IASG) would be carrying out its 2022 Review and officers would present analysis around any disparities and common areas to the Committee in the autumn.


Separately, in response to concerns about the experience and feedback of those who are strip searched with a negative outcome, officers emphasised that any stop and search interaction (including those which involved a strip search) aimed for a positive experience with dignity and respect at the core. In the run-up to the meeting, the officer had gone through the records for Quarter 4 confirmed that in all video recordings, officers were professional, and he was felt assured that colleagues are striving to ensure that those being strip searched are being treated with dignity and respect. It should be noted that during the strip search the camera is turned off to safeguard the privacy and dignity of the individual.


The Chair requested that, in future, reporting around strip searches included statistics on strip search types and that it picked up on any distinct patterns according to each of these types; she also encouraged the Force to ensure that they were doing all they could, including rolling out refresher training, to further improve the processes and outcomes for individuals; officers responded that, in light of the Child Q case, the Force was changing its internal processes in an effort to ensure under 18s are afforded greater protection when it came to stop and searches; an update would be provided to the Committee in September.


The Chair added that it would be helpful to consider improving ways in which young people could feedback their experience of being stopped and searched (e.g. by distributing contact cards). It was particularly concerning that, across England and Wales, some individuals were still being repeatedly stopped and searched despite these resulting on each occasion with a negative outcome; the corrosive affect this had on that individual’s perception of the Police should not be underestimated.    


Noting concerns about officers’ use of body worn video during stop and searches, namely, that officers ensured the video captured all parts of the interaction (excluding strip searches), officers informed Members that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), would be reporting soon on body worn video and a summary would be brought back to the Committee at its next meeting in September.


In response to a query, officers confirmed that servitor training dates were being set up.


A Member remarked that the 44% “not stated” figure for self-defined ethnicity was concerning and asked whether any steps could be taken to lower that figure. Officers responded that the collection of ethnicity data came via two methods – self defined and observed/officer perceived. Individuals were not compelled to state their ethnicity, and, per Code A, the Force was prohibited from trying to influence what people say during a stop and search. Members asked that the statistics based on the observed/officer perceived ethnicity, should be submitted alongside the self–defined ethnicity data in future iterations of this Report.


RESOLVED – that the Committee noted the Report. 

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