Thursday, January 12, 2012

#MET To 'Appear' Less Racist

The Metropolitan Police are to dramatically reduce the number of random searches on members of the public in an effort to improve relations between officers and the black and ethnic minority communities.

Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe is said to be concerned that officers are not facing enough scrutiny when they conduct random searches.

Instead police will be tasked with targeting small areas with high crime rates, and known criminals and suspects, to help increase arrests, while random Section 60 searches will be reduced.

Research conducted by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the London School of Economics in 2010 showed that there were 41.6 searches carried out under Section 60 for every 1,000 black people and 1.6 for every 1,000 white people.

The disproportionate rates of supposedly 'random' search are widely seen to have antagonised the already-strained relationship between the police and black and ethnic minority communities.

Perceived abuse of Section 60 was frequently cited as an underlying cause of last summer's more