Stop and search arrest rate rises in Redbridge as police powers scrutinised

Police officers searching a man in London. Photo: PA

Police officers searching a man in London. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Only 15 per cent of the 1,100 people stopped and searched by police in Redbridge in May were arrested, it was revealed this week.

The rate of arrests was up on just nine per cent in May last year but black men between the age of 18 and 24 are still far more likely to be stopped than any other group.

The controversial police powers have come under scrutiny after a government report found that almost a third of stop and searches across the country were “unlawful”.

Around 27pc of the 8,783 records examined in the Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) review did not include sufficient grounds to justify the lawful use of the power.

Officers can stop and search anyone if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect they are carrying drugs, weapons, stolen property or tools to commit crime.

Members of the London Assembly police and crime committee have launched an investigation into how the Metropolitan Police is conducting stop and searches.

Assembly member Jenny Jones said stop and search has a “tiny impact” on crime reduction but has damaged the relationship between young people and ethnic minorities and police.

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In Redbridge, nearly half of all stop and searches in May were for drugs and other common reasons cited by police officers were going equipped to steal, having stolen property and carrying offensive weapons.

Young black men are most likely to be stopped and for every one white person searched in May, three black people were questioned.

White people are the least likely to be stopped in Redbridge, with only 3 in 1,000 being questioned by police in May, but the most likely to be arrested.

In a poll on the Ilford Recorder website, 37pc of voters said stop and search powers were “always” used fairly in Redbridge.

Around 21pc said they were sometimes used fairly, 15pc said most of the time, 16pc said rarely and 11pc of voters said the powers were never fair.

Redbridge Police were asked to comment but did not respond by the time of going to print.

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