Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman has questioned the value of counter-terrorism stop and search powers saying it was “very unlikely that a terrorist is going to be carrying bomb-making equipment around with them in the street.”
Mr Hayman, who has national responsibility for counter-terrorism was speaking at the final hearing of ‘Counter Terrorism: The London Debate’ which was organised by Metropolitan Police Authority.
Hayman said the power was “well intended” but that police “have to question the way we use a power that causes so much pain to the community we serve but results in so few arrests or charges” and posed the question “is it worth it?”
Commenting on the resentment stop and search can cause in some of London’s communities Hayman said he was “not sure what purpose it serves, especially as it upsets so many people, with some sections of our community feeling unfairly targeted. It seems a big price to pay.”
The comments, which were released by the MPA, were welcomed by Toby Harris, MPA member with special responsibilities for counter-terrorism, who said the hearings had highlighted a “real unease over the disproportionate and inconsistent use of this power” amongst Londoners.
Lord Harris said it was now “time to review the use of Section 44 to assess critically its benefits and weigh these ag