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Police deny setting stop and search targets

CHECK: Police question a young male in south London (PA)

LONDON POLICE have denied media claims that officers are tasked with stopping and searching a minimum of 15 people every month.

The Metropolitan Police’s response comes after the Mirror reported that officers face disciplinary action if they do meet targets set for the controversial tactic which is considered to cause significant distrust of the force in the black community.

In a statement, the Met said it “has no policy of setting individual targets for stop and search or for arrests.”

It denied the media report and said: “The intelligence-led approach the Met takes to stop and search has resulted in significant reductions in the volumes of stop and search and in increased arrest rates.

“Despite media reports this weekend, the Met has been presented with no evidence of such targets being set.”

Police sources claimed that police are being ordered to carry out arrests by numbers instead of crimes, the Mirror reported.

The source told the paper: “If the public knew the police service had to arrest by numbers rather than crimes there would be a national outcry.

“Targets are set and expected to be obtained with the threat of management action should you not achieve them. The main one is stop and search.”

The police source claimed that officers must use the tactic at least 15 times a month and make a minimum of eight arrests in that period.

The Met added: “On stop and search, the Met is subject to regular scrutiny by groups such as StopWatch and the Community Monitoring Network, along with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, in order to ensure that powers are applied with honesty and integrity.

“Each borough commander must also justify their officers' use of the tactic to a local stop and search panel.”

“Should any evidence of these targets or of officers being disciplined for failing to meet them come to light, we will work with those involved and reiterate the Met stance that target setting is inappropriate in these areas.”

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