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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Stop and Search doesn’t work - statistics show


    by Sunny on 15th July, 2009 at 8:40 pm    

    This comes from the Daily Mail - so even our usual gaggle of rightwingers can’t claim some conspiracy of twisting the figures: Force uses stop and search power 3,400 times - but suspends it after failing to make single terror arrest:

    A police force has suspended searches of people under controversial anti-terror laws after shock figures exposed the futility of the legislation. Hampshire Police conducted 3,481 stop and searches of people under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act in 2007/2008 - but arrested no-one in connection with terror.

    In remarks which deepened the controversy surrounding the powers, Lord Carlile said he knew of cases where suspects were stopped by officers even though there was no evidence against them. He warned that police were wasting time and money by carrying out these ’self-evidently unmerited searches’ which were ‘almost certainly unlawful’.

    Section 44 is part of the Terrorism Act, 2000. It gives police the right to stop and search anyone in a defined area without having grounds of ‘reasonable suspicion’. Some forces have simply designated their entire force area as Section 44 zones giving them limitless powers to search on demand.

    So feel free to use this as an example when social authoritarians like the Tories (and New Labour) argue for more stop-and-search powers and a ramping up of police authority.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Civil liberties, Terrorism




    16 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. marvin — on 15th July, 2009 at 8:58 pm  

      So feel free to use this as an example when social authoritarians like the Tories (and New Labour) argue for more stop-and-search powers

      I believe this is what one refers to as a non sequitor.

      Stop search for terrorism? Who on earth thought that would be fruitful. Is anyone with a brain really going to argue otherwise?

      Stop and search for knives:

      A spate of teenage murders in London led to the launch of Operation Blunt last May. Since the operation began there have been 175,998 searches, 6,270 arrests and 3,804 knives seized. Police say they have lowered knife crime by 27 per cent in nine out of 10 main knife crime areas.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5914192.ece

      So feel free to use this as an example when social liberals argue for the cessation of stop-and-search powers and a ramping up of police authority. Let them stab I say, at least one (comfortable middle class green protester) has freedom from being ruffed up by those police numskulls when one’s fellow travellers scream “fascist pigs!” when all you want to do is absorb the love at climate riot anticapitalist séance camp thingy…

    2. Laban Tall — on 15th July, 2009 at 8:59 pm  

      Do social authoritarians want more stop-and-search powers ? I’d have thought the police had quite enough to be going on with.

      And the Tories aren’t social authoritarians. Alas.

    3. Sunny — on 15th July, 2009 at 9:47 pm  

      Don’t think you’ve quite made the link Marvin.

      the measure used in this case is a specifically anti-terrorism law.

    4. RobertD — on 15th July, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Marvin,

      On the figure you quote only 3.4% of searches yield an arrest, only 60% of which, or 2.1% of the total number searched, are for carrying a knife. This does not look like a serious attempt to focus searches on people where the police have “reasonable suspicion”.

      That is 169,781 people or 96.6% most of whom have gone away thinking that the police are no longer on their side and are not to be trusted. That is no way to get policing by consent or encourage the public to report their concerns about potential terrorists or muggers.

      Stop and search where the police have reasonable grounds for suspicion is acceptable. Random abuse of those powers is totally unacceptable even to those of an authoritarian bent.

    5. Adnan — on 15th July, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Sunny: the thing you’re not gonna like about the Daily Mail article you’ve used (and which I’m surprised that marvin and Laban did not mention) is that Lord Carlisle says that stop ‘n’ search is inefficient because it’s being done in a PC kind of way (”Last month Lord Carlile, a Liberal Democrat peer and QC, suggested whites are being needlessly stopped in order to balance the books.”).

    6. Cjcjc — on 15th July, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Was much terrorism expected in Hampshire?

      Stop and search for knives however seems more than reasonable, doesn’t it?

    7. Scots Tiger — on 15th July, 2009 at 10:56 pm  

      The unflinching vigilance of the Hampshire Police has kept terrorism from our shores [or part of our shores anyway] but one wonders whether they’ve managed to maintain the racial balance the Home Office requires these days.

      Hampshire offers no scarcity of whites, hooded or otherwise, but all persons of colour are probably searched several times a day to make the ratios balance.

    8. damon — on 15th July, 2009 at 11:16 pm  

      This happened locally:

      ”Conservative MP Andrew Pelling has said he was stopped and searched by police on suspicion of being a terrorist after taking photographs of a cycle path”.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/4144210/Tory-MP-stopped-and-searched-by-police-for-taking-photos-of-cycle-path.html

      They are making a mockery of the new anti-terror powers they have to search youths for knives, or just randomly.

      But perhaps these knife arches are a deterrent.
      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/07/03/article-1031329-01D4148500000578-252_468×670.jpg

    9. Edna Welthorpe — on 16th July, 2009 at 12:41 am  

      When the police quite rightly and responsibly search Conservative MPs they aren’t looking for knives or Al Qaeda training manuals, Damon.

      Perhaps you’re too young to know that whips and padded manacles are what such disreputable people might well have concealed about their persons.

    10. munir — on 16th July, 2009 at 1:03 am  

      Adnan

      “Sunny: the thing you’re not gonna like about the
      Daily Mail article you’ve used (and which I’m surprised that marvin and Laban did not mention) is that Lord Carlisle says that stop ‘n’ search is inefficient because it’s being done in a PC kind of way (”Last month Lord Carlile, a Liberal Democrat peer and QC, suggested whites are being needlessly stopped in order to balance the books.”).”

      Im amazed anyone uses the racial argument anymore;
      what exactly does an Al Qaida terrorist look like?
      Every heard of Nicky Reilly?

    11. Sleuth — on 16th July, 2009 at 1:46 am  

      “Im amazed anyone uses the racial argument anymore;
      what exactly does an Al Qaida terrorist look like?
      Every heard of Nicky Reilly?”

      That’s embarrassing; Nicky Reilly has a mental age of 10.

      If you’re struggling to come up with an Al Qaida terrorist profile then the gentlemen listed below might jog your memory.

      Salahuddin Amin
      Jawad Akbar
      Rahman Benouis
      Omar Khyam
      Waheed Mahmood,
      Mohammad Sidique Khan
      Shehzad Tanweer
      Germaine Lindsay
      Hasib Hussain
      Muktar Ibrahim
      Manfo Asiedu
      Hussein Osman
      Yassin Omar
      Ramzi Mohammed
      Adel Yahya
      Bilal Abdullah
      Kafeel Ahmed

    12. Arif — on 16th July, 2009 at 8:09 am  

      When I was stopped and searched most recently I was told it was so that other people could see that the police were stopping and searching people (it was done in a very public place).

      I wonder if this is a common reason given to people (that it is to make people feel safe, rather than for any actual increase in public safety).

    13. marvin — on 16th July, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

      This does not look like a serious attempt to focus searches on people where the police have “reasonable suspicion”.

      Of course it isn’t. And we all know why. Fear of accusations of racism. Be it for terrorist offences (the profile is very well known) or for guns/knives (the profile in London is very well known).

      People will inevitably die because people will go slip through the net whilst the police are searching some Japanese tourist. Political correctness, whereby you have to be wilfully mistargeting so as to show you are not profiling anybody allows violent crime to happen when it would have otherwise been prevented.

      Comments 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 all make a good point. Sunny do you think police should search people for show, for ratios or just general look at us aren’t we doing our jobs well?

      Police authority does need to be curbed in other areas, but that’s the fault of New Labour and their mountain of new legislation.

      Hopefully a the team Cameron will repeal some of the most ridiculous legislation like it being an offence to film the police or photograph buildings etc.

    14. Tarik — on 17th July, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

      There’s always so much emphasis placed upon stop and searches as, being a young mixed raced male, I get stopped with alarming regularity. Because of the revamped emphasis on knife crime this is happening more and more now, I’ve been stopped twice this month already, once when I was with my dad! I’m working on a project with the volunteering agency vinspired on a project called Voicebox that is all about giving the kids a certified voice, whilst attempting to get to the core of kids and the issues surrounding them. One of the questions we’ve asked is whether the respondents have ever carried a knife or know anyone that does - a huge 85% said no with 13% saying yes. Breaking down these results further in London, where knife crime is apparently ‘unmanageable’, the yes figure drops to 79% and the yes rises to 17%. Unmanageable? The North West and the East midlands also scored similarly high scores, however the rest of the country sees the ‘yes’ % staying at a low of around 10-12%…

      Take a closer look at what we’re doing with the project here, hopefully it is of some interest: http://voicebox.vinspired.com/results/

      Yours,

      Tarik

    15. chairwoman — on 17th July, 2009 at 5:01 pm  

      Stop and search was very popular in my youth. Then it was known as the ‘Sus’ law (stopped on suspicion of anything basically), they stopped it because it achieved nothing except alienating the young, their parents, and minority groups.

      It doesn’t appear to be doing much more now.

    16. Baby names search - Search for marvin — on 23rd July, 2009 at 8:03 am  

      [...] Pickled Politics " Stop and Search doesnt work – statistics show [...]



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