5.06.2009

A success rate of one in 1,000 shows stop and search doesn't work

·This 'important tool' against terrorism treats black people as suspects.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/06/nicola-rollock-stop-and-search
http://blog.artofthestate.co.uk/_photos/38015480e3a8adca31b045a3f06dd4acc240524b8964f5aea4297c41.jpg
The use of police stop-and-search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 has risen dramatically since summer 2007, with black and Asian people disproportionately targeted in the "aftermath of the failed London bombing in the Haymarket" (Use of police stop-and-search powers under terror law surges).
As you report, new Ministry of Justice figures show that from 2007-08 "the number of black people stopped under these powers rose by 322%, compared with an increase of 277% for Asian and 185% for white people". But an unreported aspect of the figures was the increase in the proportion of these searches being carried out by the Metropolitan Police - with little apparent effect.
The Met were responsible for 87% of all black people searched under this law in 2008, an increase of 303% from the previous year. Only eight of the 8,222 searched were subsequently arrested for activities related to terrorism. Yet in your article Home Office minister Vernon Coaker described stop and search as an "important tool" aimed at "disrupting crime and responding to intelligence and levels of risk". Even if we ignore the fact that not all arrests lead to conviction, this meant that the Met had grounds to arrest only one in every 1,028 black people searched. It is difficult to establish how such rates of success make it an "important tool".
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