34. Supplementary memorandum
submitted by the Mayor of London
1. This short supplementary memorandum follows
on from the Mayor of London's original written submission to the
Home Affairs Committee inquiry into Young Black People and the
Criminal Justice System and the oral evidence given to the Committee
by Lee Jasper, the Mayor of London's Director for Equalities and
Policing. It provides the additional information and statistics,
primarily on stop and search, which the Committee requested when
Mr Jasper gave oral evidence to the Committee.
2. As outlined in the Mayor's original written
submission, young Black people are overrepresented at all practically
all stages of the criminal justice system. Whilst the causes of
this overrepresentation are complex, it cannot be wholly explained
by the nature of offending by young people, and direct and indirect
institutional racism appear to provide at least part of the explanation.
3. For far too many people, crime and the fear
of crime remain part of their daily reality. This is especially
true for many Black and minority ethnic people.
4. In London Black people are more likely than
white people to be victims of crime, especially serious crime.
Whilst the causes of this are complexoften rooted in deprivation
and povertythe figures are stark. Taken as a whole, Black
people in London are 10 times more likely than white people to
be victims of a racist attack, seven times more likely to be homicide
victims, three times more likely to be domestic violence victims,
three times more likely to be raped, 2.6 times more likely to
suffer violent crime and 1.6 times more likely to be victims of
5. It is also sadly true that fear of discrimination
by criminal justice agencies appears to remain part of daily life
for too many Londoners. A quarter of a century on from the Brixton
riots and the subsequent Scarman report which was critical of
the use of stop and search by the police, we are still not getting
6. Every day in London there are close to 1,000
people stopped and searched by the Police. Of thesebased
on figures from April to October 200690% are stopped and
searched under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), 7%
under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act and 3% under Section 60
of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
7. The total number of stop and searches conducted
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) under PACE between 1999-2000
and 2005-06 increased from 60% from 177,935 to 284,875 during
this six-year period.
8. There was a dramatic increase in the use
of PACE stop and searches of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people.
Whilst increases were recorded for people from each BME group,
the biggest proportionate increases were of people who the police
defined as Arabic or other North Africanthere was an increase
in the use of stop and search of over 200% in six years for this
group. This was followed by Chinese, Japanese or Other South East
Asian (up 172%), Black people (115%) and Asian people (113%).
9. In stark contrast, the number of stop and
searches of White North Europeans increased at a much slower rate
10. All of this has led to a situation where
Black people in London are now five times more likely to be stopped
and searched than white people, and Asians almost twice as likely
to be stopped and searched under PACE as white people (1.9 times).
11. Yet despite this, people from BME groups
are barely any more likely to be arrested following a stop and
search than white people are, inevitably prompting the question
of why exactly are BME people stopped and searched more than their
white counterparts under PACE.
12. The relatively low arrest rate (13.1% for
Black people in 2005-06) and the large number of BME people stopped
and searched under this power seems to suggest that police powers
are still not always being used in a targeted, intelligence-led
way. This is concerning not only because it risks community safety
due to the opportunity cost of police time on wasted stop and
searches of BME people, but because it also risks further alienating
people from BME communities.
13. Londoners from BME communities are also
disproportionately likely to be stopped and searched under anti-terror
14. Since 2001-02 the number of stop and searches
under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 has increased eight-fold
to over 22,000 a year. Once again, as with PACE stop and searches,
it is Black, Asian and other BME groups who are disproportionately
affected. Whereas the amount of white people stopped and searched
during this period increased six-fold, there was a ten-fold increase
in the number of Asian people stopped and searched and an eleven-fold
increase in the number of Black people stopped and searched.
15. Yet just 2% of those stopped and searched
are arrestedonce again demonstrating that the police are
simply stopping and searching far too many people, and especially
far too many innocent BME Londoners.
16. It is a similar picture too for Stop and
Searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order
17. The usage of such stop and searches has
more than doubled in the last six years, with increases particularly
magnified amongst BME communities.
18. Black people in London are now 11 times
more likely than white people to be stopped and searched under
Section 60 powerspowers which let us not forget are only
meant to be used if police believe there is a serious risk of
violence, and which were introduced amid public concern about
football hooliganism and outdoor raves in the mid-1990s.
19. The statistical evidence regarding the use
of stop and search powers in London sadly appear to be consistent
with the contention that there is racial and ethnic disproportionality
in their exercise and that this has become more of a problem since
20. This reinforces the belief that this is
resulting in the criminalisation of entire communities. It also
represents a waste of precious police resources. And in the context
of anti-terrorism activity, disproportionate and ill-judged use
of stop and search risks being fatally counter-productive if it
alienates the very communities whose cooperation the police so