Crime is falling – both recorded and from the National Crime Survey – but for many they still can’t trust the Police. At community meetings Stop and Search is causing real understandable angst.
A 2013 commission found that black people were six times more likely to be stopped and search than white people, and in some areas this was as high as 29 times more likely.. No wonder for a large proportion of our community the Police are an annoyance rather than the sign of crime busters.
Some years ago locally we funded hand held metal detectors for our Safer Neighbourhood Team Police in East Dulwich. It means patting down isn’t quite so intrusive for people being searched and gives warning of metal objects such as needles for Police officers. We’ve been talking to local officers about how we can help them get body cameras.
So I’m delighted that Lib Dems have committed to making body cameras mandatory for all Police officers in ‘Section 60’ stop and search areas, officers carrying firearms and officers in Territorial Support Groups. But ideally all Police and enforcement officers would wear body cams as a matter of course.
Body cams mean that people interacting with the Police are assured everything is recorded and for the Police it gives evidence to refute any unfounded accusations. They’re a win win for everyone. The Met Police have started to trial their use – but this needs to be accelerated and made countrywide as a minimum standard.
Do you agree?