Without the power of being able to stop and search individuals we suspect of having participated in or are about to commit a crime, the Met would be faced with a much tougher challenge on the streets of London.
What are we looking for?
Stop and search is never used lightly and police officers will only exercise their legal right to stop members of the public and search them when they genuinely suspect that doing so will further their investigations into criminal activity – whether that means looking for weapons, drugs or stolen property.
Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is different to normal stop and search as it gives police the right to search people without reasonable grounds. This can only happen in a defined area at a specific time when a senior officer believes there is a possibility of serious violence, or weapons are involved.
Forces for good
London is proud to have three different forces: the Metropolitan Police Service (the Met), the City of London Police and the British Transport Police. Officers from these three forces, at various times, work together on specific crime and terrorist operations, with considerable success.
In January 2012, the Met launched a major and renewed focus on stop and search to make it more effective and fair. Since then, there has been a significant reduction in the volume of searches carried out as well as increased arrest rates and reduced complaints, which is great both for local communities and the Met.