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Home Secretary may curb stop and search powers

CHECK: Officers stop a young man in south London (PA)

HOME SECRETARY Theresa May is set to reduce police stop and search powers, reports say.

The revelation comes in the wake of the controversial verdict of lawful killing in the inquest into Mark Duggan's death, and follows a consultation on stop and search.

Duggan was shot dead in north London in August 2011 after being stopped in his minicab by armed police as part of an operation.

An inquest jury unanimously decided that the police did not do enough to gather and react to intelligence suggesting the 29-year-old Tottenham resident might be collecting a gun.

Stop and search powers are used disproportionately against ethnic minority Britons, with most searches not leading to an arrest.

Government action is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

One plan being considered by May is curtailing the use of section 60, which allows an officer to stop someone without needing reasonable suspicion they are involved in a crime. Some senior officers fear the government may scrap section 60 altogether, but that is thought unlikely.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Nobody should ever be stopped just on the basis of their skin colour or ethnicity.

“The government supports the ability of police officers to stop and search suspects, but it must be applied fairly and in a way which builds community confidence."

The Met also said it would start trials of firearms officers wearing small video cameras, to boost public confidence and, they hope, make it quicker to prove their officers' accounts are truthful.

Police chiefs hope to start testing of the cameras by April.

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