Met needs 'genuine reset' to 'policing by consent', Green London mayoral candidate tells LBC

2 May 2021, 13:41

By Joe Cook

The Metropolitan Police "definitely" has a racial bias in its use of force and needs a "genuine reset of the principles of policing by consent", Green party London Mayoral Candidate Sian Berry has told Swarbrick on Sunday.

Asked by LBC's Tom Swarbrick whether there is a racial bias in the Met's use of stop and search in London, Ms Berry said: "There definitely is. We see that across every kind of use of force.

"We see Black Londoners, particularly young Black Londoners, over policed by these kinds of tactics and that, in the end, is counterproductive. We have seen it before and it does worry me."

As part of her campaign the Green candidate is calling for "a genuine reset of the principles of policing by consent" and said "nothing should be off the table". The party manifesto sets out the Greens want "clear targets to prevent violence and bring murders down to zero," protect civil liberties and push back on police powers.

She today said this needs "a big conversation between Londoners, between police officers and everybody who is affected by this, which genuinely thinks about how the police should operate, how we hold them to account and what tactics are actually going to work."

The Greens also want to position London as "the greenest city in the world" with tough emissions targets and plans to protect green spaces from development.

In addition to concerns over the Met's policing of Black Londoners, the Mayoral candidate said she has concerns about the force's handing of a Sarah Everard vigil in March.

"I think there is a problem in the leadership of the Met and I was very, very critical of the policing of the Sarah Everard vigil," she told Tom. "That was a complete disaster."

"There is a bigger failure there at the leadership level. The failure to work with the organisers of that vigil to really take on board the situation we were in at that time, with who the suspected perpetrator of that crime is.

"I think there was a genuine failure of leadership there, but like I say we need to have a conversation about principles and how we organise policing at a much deeper level where everything is on the table."

Click here for a full list of candidates standing for London mayor on 6 May.