Apology for being ‘Essexist’ sought by Redbridge London Assembly member

An apology for being “Essexist” was sought by Redbridge’s London Assembly member during a debate about claims the Metropolitan Police is misusing its stop and search powers.

Criticism that officers working central London beats often come from “quite, quite different places” such as Essex, prompted Roger Evans – who also represents Havering – to push a panellist to apologise.

Conservative Roger Evans said Met officers from the county knew as much about policing London as any others, responding to a claim made by Molly Mulready-Jones from the Stop and Search Legal Project.

Ms Mulready-Jones, who was being quizzed by members of the Stop and Search Working Group, claimed many officers from Essex did not “understand” the areas they were policing.

Asked how the Met might better use its power allowing it to pat-down members of the public where there is a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, Ms Mulready-Jones said: “A lot of London police seem to come from Essex and lots of places that are quite, quite different...and they do not seem to understand the areas they are policing.”

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She added that relations between police and communities could be improved if officers were “born and bred” roughly in the areas they served.

When Mr Evans interrupted fellow assembly and working group member Joanne McCartney to defend the county – with which his boroughs still have close ties, much of them being in the county before the establishment of the Greater London Council in 1965 – Ms Mulready-Jones promptly responded: “I apologise for being Essexist”.

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The debate was held on Wednesday in City Hall.

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