Two callers clash over 'disproportionate' stop-and-search

2 February 2021, 10:39

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment two callers clashed over the Met Police's use of the disproportionate stop-and-search.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House has said the force's "disproportionate" use of stop and search powers will continue as he fought back over claims of discrimination.

He told the Evening Standard that over 300 knives a month were being taken off London streets as a result of the policy, and the ethnic imbalance was inevitable because “young black men are...being stabbed on the streets of London and, candidly, are also stabbing on the streets of London.” 

Former Assistant Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley branded this message "spot on", telling LBC: "Crime does not fall evenly in communities."

He added that while every life lost is tragic, the number of teen killings in 2020 was 15, a reduction from 26 in 2019.

Tom from Bethnal Green agreed that the 'disproportionate' method works: "I know a lot of people from the black community will say it's a black thing and they're preying on black people, I don't believe they are.

"If they're policing in the Bethnal Green area, it's Bengalis that are stopped and searched, if they do it in Dagenham the majority is going to be white, if they do it in Hackney the majority is going to be black. It is what it is."

He continued that teens should be encouraged to go to youth clubs and community centres with "the right adult there educating these young kids about networking together, not stabbing each other."

However, Simeon from Reigate disagreed with the 'disproportionate' stop-and-search approach.

Simeon said: "I don't agree with the disproportionate amount of stop-and-search.

"But what's needed really is more education within the local communities [and] more policing with the local communities."

When Nick questioned him on this, he said it was partially officer's responsibilities to educate.

After the Deputy Commissioner was questioned on this 'disproportionate' stop-and-search strategy, he added that it was "nonsense" to think the majority of ethnic minorities felt they felt mistreated.

He added that research currently suggests two thirds of black and Asian Londoners felt they were treated politely and with respect when they were stopped.

Meanwhile, the Met - which is the biggest police force in the UK - has disciplined just six officers over the misuse of stop and search powers since 2014 - despite receiving almost 5,000 complaints, figures have shown.