Stop and search

Chair the Stop & Search Implementation Panel which is overseeing how the MPA’s recommendations from last year’s scrutiny are being implemented – or not. This session we have the Home Office, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Met Police as witnesses.

The first part is taken up with an update on the Met’s new policy on Stop & Search. Their ‘vision’ statement now addresses the issue of ‘disproportionality’ in Stop & Search – and I am extremely glad we were able to persuade them to put this in and that they were intelligent and brave enough to do so.

(‘Disproportionality’ is the issue of people from some communities being more likely than average to be stopped and searched; is this because of good policing reasons or because of bias in the implementation of the policy? There’s a lot more about this on the MPA website.)

The next battle is over a recommendation in the scrutiny that asks for a special department to run the Stop & Search brief – at present it is one (or a couple) of men and a dog. This proves a sticking point for me and I will ask for this to come back to next meeting with Tim Godwin (bigwig) and the new Lead for the Met on this, Brian Paddick. The MPA is not going to let this one get away – it is too important.

In the afternoon, do some canvassing in Highgate and Hornsey wards – despite cold and rain. It feels pretty good on the doorsteps. Later, an evening of paperwork and email and envelopes.