Chairing the Stop and Search Implementation Panel at City Hall – which means following up on how the recommendations of our investigation into stop and search are going.
Today’s meeting’s hot issues are: have the Met come back with agreement on changing their vision statement appropriately and have they responded to our request for a public document to explain their new stop and search policy?
The Met came back with pretty negative responses. They hadn’t changed their vision statement and had rejected the idea of the document. As chair, I made it clear that as far as I and the other members of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) were concerned these were fundamental issues and they needed to go back and look at the issues once again.
More police business later in the day with a meeting of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Board of the MPA.
I raised the morning’s clash of views with the meeting and asked the chair’s guidance as to what happened when the Met and the MPA could not come to an agreement. The Commissioner’s Chief of Staff was in attendance (unfortunately she had not been able to attend the morning session) and she is leading the stop and search steering group within the Met. She kindly said she thought we would be able to resolve the issues. I am sure we will come to agreement soon and I was grateful to her for a genuine effort to cross this bridge.
Another issue was faith monitoring. Diametrically opposed views split the group – which actually is a good thing. This isn’t a simple right and wrong way forward and the issues really need to be debated, aired, thrashed out. Would faith monitoring enhance our understanding of what is going on – which is the stated purpose – or would it deepen differences and be a pointless knee-jerk reaction to the very real problem faced by Muslims post 9/11?