The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has launched a new investigation into the Metropolitan Police’s use of stop and search powers.
The investigation is the latest scrutiny of stop and search, earlier this month Home Secretary Theresa May announced she was also reviewing the procedure in light of statistics showing that just 9% of stops result in an arrest.
Londoners are three times more likely to be stopped and searched than people in the rest of England and Wales while black Londoners are four times more likely to be searched.
Figures produced by the Met show less than 20 per cent of stops result in any further action.
The force recently confirmed that the “positive outcome rate (arrested/given cannabis warnings) from stop searches has risen from 13.9 per cent in January 2012 to 18.5 per cent in February 2013”.
The increase follows a commitment from Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to use stop and search “in a more intelligence-led and targeted way”.
A Stop and Search working group established by the Police and Crime Committee will examine the impact of the Commissioner’s new approach, including “whether it is leading to changes in the quality of police contact with the public.”
The working group will also commission research to see if a more intelligence led approach is changing public perceptions about the use of stop and search.
Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Stop and Search working group, said: “The Met have promised better targeted use of stop and search and a more respectful and communicative approach to people stopped by police officers.
“Our investigation will seek to find out if these promises are being implemented and if so what impact they are having. Is better targeting both catching more criminals and improving confidence among communities who have long viewed the police with suspicion because of their experiences of stop and search.”