Rob Blackie tackles Met Police on stop and search study failure

Lib Dem London Mayoral Candidate Rob Blackie has been persistent in holding the Mayor to account over civil liberties issues.

He has identified through Freedom of Information requests that the Metropolitan Police has made little progress on crucial research into stop and search, three years on from promising to do so.

The answers  show that the Mayor’s office has failed to get  the Met to make any meaningful progress on the bodycam research project:

In June 2023 the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime stated to Rob Blackie:

MOPAC held debrief sessions with the Met in October 2022 to discuss the issues, but the Review was told only four of the initial 20 coders attended, some of whom had not done any coding…In January 2023, discussions took place between the Met and MOPAC around a potential solution to allow research to progress and the Met set up a specific group to progress the work. This was due to meet in February 2023 but little progress was made. The current status is that there is a meeting due to take place between MOPAC and MPS at the end of June to progress and decide the next steps of the project.

When Rob asked in July 2023 how the June meeting had made progress, MOPAC replied that:

There are no current outcomes or timelines we can provide on the progression of the project.

This all comes from the Action Plan published in November 2020 which was supposed to improve trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.  It is disappointing, especially given the Casey Review’s conclusion earlier this year that the Met was institutionally racist, homophobic and misogynist.

You would think they would want to get a wiggle on to show that they were improving.

Rob explained why it was so important that Sadiq Khan gets this research done and published before the Mayoral Election next year:

Sadiq Khan promised this study so that Londoners can properly understand how stop and search is being conducted in our city – but yet again it’s warm words and weak action from the Mayor.

Black Londoners continue to be disproportionately targeted by stop and search. The experience can be traumatic, so we urgently need this review to rebuild trust in stop and search.

I’ve been waiting for the outcome of this study for some time and I’m astonished to find out that he’s simply done nothing. Hundreds of thousands of people will have been subject to stop and searches in London in the time we’ve been waiting and we are still none the wiser about what’s going wrong.

How can the Met Police learn how to be better when it’s not even bothering to review what’s gone wrong in the past? This is just another sign of a Mayor who is asleep on the job.

The Mayor must get this study done and publish the results before the election.

Rob’s persistence highlights what Liberal Democrats are for – protecting people’s freedoms and holding the powerful to account.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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