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Met’s use of stop and search without suspicion on the rise

STOP AND SEARCH: The Metropolitan Police's use of Section 60 orders has risen in the past year

THE METROPOLITAN Police’s use of stop and search without suspicion has risen significantly in the last year.

Stop and search without grounds for suspicion is permissible under a Section 60 order, a power that enables officers to employ the policing method in certain areas based on the grounds that serious violence has occurred or is likely to.

A Section 60 order is set for a limited time and officers are required to inform those they stop of the reason and search for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments on the individual’s person or in their vehicle.

In 2016, 26 authorisations of Section 60 orders were made by the Met. In 2017, this rose to 112, more than four times the 2016 figure, LBC has reported.

The Met has defended the use of stop and search and the application of Section 60 orders.

It told LBC: "The number of authorities being granted has increased in response to the increased prevalence of knife crime.

"We strongly believe in the use of this preventative power. Section 60 effectiveness is not only about what illegal items were found but also about whether any incidences or further incidences of violence took place, and how safe the community felt.

"As 'reasonable grounds' are not required for searches under section 60 we would expect arrest and outcome relates to be lower than those exercised under other powers."

This week, new research has revealed that black people in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

The report, The Colour of Injustice: ‘Race’, drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales found that the rate of times drugs were found on black people who were stopped and searched was lower than that of white people, something that researchers say suggests officer’s searches on black people are based on weaker grounds of suspicion.

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