New Figures Show Steady Drop in Stop and Searches across Borough

New monthly data shows a fall of over two thirds in last three years

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Stop and searches by the police in Hammersmith and Fulham have fallen by over two thirds in three years.

New data shows an almost constant decline over the past year in the use of the stop and search power, according to Metropolitan Police figures.

As the graph below illustrates, the number of searches in Hammersmith and Fulham fell from 876 in May 2014 to 358 in May this year.

Since January 2012 monthly stop-and-search levels have fallen by 68% across the city, while complaints have come down by two thirds.

The trend emerged as the government announced that from this week, all police forces in England and Wales will provide monthly data of searches at street level on the Police.UK website, alongside maps showing where the searches take place.

From 2014 the Met says it adopted the ‘Best Use of Stop and Search’ guidelines, applying the power in a more targeted and sensitive manner, which lead to fewer searches and a higher arrest rate.

This is in line with other London boroughs, and follows calls from the Home Secretary, Theresa May, for stop and search to become more effective and less-widely used.

She said: “I have been clear that stop and search is an important police power, but, as with all sensitive powers, it must be properly targeted, based on reasonable grounds and accountable to citizens and communities.

“I have already introduced the ‘best use of stop and search scheme’ to bring greater accountability to the use of these powers and revised the police and criminal evidence code to make it clear what constitute reasonable grounds.

“ But, as I have always said, if the use of these powers does not become more targeted, and stop-to-arrests ratios do not improve, then I will bring in primary legislation to make it happen.”

Stop and search levels in Hammersmith and Fulham

The blue line shows month by month figures on stop and search

However, Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe recently warned that searches were likely to rise again following an increase in incidents of knife-crime, which were up 21% in the last year across London.

August 7, 2015