The following letter was sent to the London Evening Standard on January 12th, 2012.
At long last police in London have acknowledged what young people, communities and academic researchers have been saying for decades and particularly since the escalation of stop and search operations, supposedly in an attempt to tackle gun and knife crime. Stop and search is an oppressive, ineffectual and alienating form of policing, whether geared towards preventing or solving crime.
The problem with Bernard Hogan Howe’s targets for reducing stop and searches is that they are arbitrary. Why aim at a 50% reduction in Section 60 stop and searches rather than the use of Section 60 only when there is firm and reliable evidence to warrant it? And if stop and search is intelligence led, why do the police need Section 60 powers anyway? Read the rest of this entry →