Scotland Yard says it’s now fully compliant with the Home Office’s new Stop & Search rules.
The guidelines were published in August after a review into the use of Stop & Search powers in England and Wales found many stops could not be justified.
In recent years there’s been growing concern that some officers may be using the powers without sufficient grounds, fears some say are justified by low levels of arrests and further action arising from stops.
In 2011, 80% of stops in London resulted in no further action, a rate criticised by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe when the took over the force.
Official figures show young black men are more likely to be stopped than their white counterparts, raising further concerns that some officers are targeting specific communities without justification.
As a result of the new Home Office rules, officers will need to record more details of stops, including the outcome.
In addition the use of blanket stops – known as Section 60 stops – in a specified area will need to be authorised by a senior officer and the period such stops can operate has been reduced from 24 hours to 15.
The Met has committed to publishing Stop & Search data online to help boost public confidence in the power’s use and has today promised to boost participation in a lay observation scheme which lets members of the public to accompany officers on patrol where they may use stop and search powers.
Commander Stephen Watson, MPS stop and search lead, said: “The Best Use Stop and Search scheme, which we have now fully implemented, supports the Met’s ongoing drive to make stop and search more intelligence-led and effective.
“We have made significant improvements to stop and search over the last two years to not only reduce the total number of people we search, but also to ensure that our officers focus on those areas and types of crime that the public are most concerned about.
“As a result, we are arresting more people than ever before following the more targeted use of stop and search and routinely find people in possession of weapons and stolen items.
“We recognise the impact stop and search can have on individuals and communities. Our work with communities and monitoring groups is helping to ensure we are more transparent than ever in how stop and search helps to reduce crime and keep people safe, but we of course recognise there is much more to do to improve confidence across all communities in the use of the powers.”