Report of the Commissioner.
Members considered an annual update report of the Commissioner regarding Stop and Search 2018/19 and the following points were made.
· The T/Commander (Operations) highlighted the Force’s highest arrest rate for any force nationally with 32% of searches leading to an arrest. He noted that the Force had been making improvements against the HMICFRS recommendations concerning Stop and Search.
· A Member noted that the Force should push for the stop and search benchmark to be set against the wider London (rather than City) population, as per the point in the report that the majority of stop and search candidates in the City came from wider London, rather than the City’s residential population. The T/Commander welcomed the comment but noted that unfortunately this was not a publishable metric at present. The Chairman noted that he would raise this point with Her Majesty’s Inspector.
· The Commissioner noted that the Government had adopted a more pro-stop and search position, and highlighted that the tactic had a preventative value as well as leading to arrests i.e. a stop and search on a group of five persons had the potential to lead to only one arrest of an individual carrying a knife, but served to deter the remaining four.
· A Member noted that however disproportional stop and search figures were, it was important that the Force did not lose sight of the wider community’s experience of police interaction.
· In response to a question, the Assistant Commissioner reassured Members that the complaints referenced within the report were not serious enough to warrant IOPC involvement and would be submitted to the Board’s Professional Standards and Integrity Committee for scrutiny, as per standard practice.
· A Member noted that the number of stop and searches not being recorded properly stood at around 25% and queried whether this could be regarded an acceptable figure. The T/Commander (Operations) noted that a properly recorded search was one where three reasons were recorded, whereas some searches were deemed necessary for one or two reasons and therefore did not meet the necessary threshold. Members agreed that this point should be raised with Her Majesty’s Inspector, and reviewed by the Professional Standards and Integrity Committee.
RESOLVED, that the report be received.