Number of stop and searches halved in Haringey
15:34 06 August 2012
The number of people stopped and searched by police in Haringey has halved, new figures reveal.
Stop and search was used 534 times in June, as opposed to the power being used 1,261 times the same month last year – yet the proportion of those arrested as a result has increased from 8.6 per cent to 14.4 per cent in the same period.
This equates to 77 arrests made in June this year.
By comparison, in neighbouring Camden police carried out 1,648 stop and searches in June.
The figures were published just days before the first anniversary of Mark Duggan’s death at the hands of armed police.
They may help quell the widespread frustration and anger at the use of stop and search that was cited as a big factor fuelling the riots that followed Mr Duggan’s death.
Haringey police say they are now using the tactic more effectively and in a more targeted way.
Police need a reasonable level of suspicion to carry out a stop and search, unless senior officers approve Section 60 powers for a specific area, usually in the event of threats of gang violence or similar.
Police can then stop and search without needing reasonable suspicion as a justification. But police chiefs are now demanding significant intelligence before approving the power, and no approvals been made since the end of February.
Borough commander Sandra Looby said the figures showed her force was heading “in the right direction”.
“We recognise that stop and search is a key area of frustration among some members of the community and we are changing the way we use the power to make it more targeted and effective.
“Many Londoners recognise that stop and search is an important tactic for keeping our streets safe. We train our officers to use their powers with respect and sensitivity. If they don’t, we expect them to be held to account.”
She added: “We’ve introduced an induction programme for new Pc recruits, which includes a stop and search workshop. Along with my leadership team, I have personally briefed every one of our operational officers on what is expected of them. It’s vital that we maintain and enhance accountability and transparency in order that there is trust in police use of this power.”