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Published:September 27th, 2007 01:38 EST
U.K. Stop and search figures released

U.K. Stop and search figures released

By SOP newswire

Terrorism stop and search figures for each London borough are being released for the first time today, 25 September, by the Metropolitan Police Service. 

In Spring 2007, at the request of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the MPS carried out a review of our use of stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000. The review was a requirement of the MPA's report 'Counter Terrorism: The London Debate' following their year-long investigation into the causes and effects of terrorism amongst London's diverse communities. 

A recommendation from the review was to raise public awareness about the powers and as part of that recommendation we are issuing stop and search figures for each London borough. 

The figures are available at here

The threat from terrorism is real and serious. As we have seen terrorists can strike at any time and any place without warning. 

Since July 2007 officers have been encouraged to use stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 in order to make it harder for terrorists to operate. 

Terrorists need to travel - meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Terrorists need transport - they need to move equipment, material and people around. Terrorists need to prepare - hostile reconnaissance and surveillance is carried out to plan attacks. 

Stop and search/account under the Terrorism Act 2000 is a vital tactic in our counter terrorism strategy. The powers can disrupt and deter terrorist activity, create a hostile environment for terrorists and provide a visible reassurance to the public. 

We understand being stopped by police may cause an inconvenience. But it is our duty to protect the public and their patience and co-operation will help keep London safe. 

Commander Rod Jarman, strategic lead for stop and search for the MPS, said: 

"For the first time the MPS will be publishing data on a borough-by-borough basis, so that the public can see the level of police activity in their area.
"By releasing this data we are being open and accountable to local communities.
"Terrorists live, work and blend in to our communities. They need information; accommodation; transport; communications; material; and storage. Terrorists can come from any background and live anywhere. They are as likely to be seen in quiet suburban roads as they are in inner-city areas.
"To compliment our covert methods of fighting terrorism we have a more visible presence to deter and disrupt terrorist activity.
"In order to achieve this we need the support of the public. We ask for co-operation and patience while we carry out these important duties to help keep London safe.
"Terrorists have been thwarted, but as the attacks of July 2005 and recent events demonstrate, we must assume that they will try again." 

Toby Harris, MPA member with special responsibilities for counter-terrorism, said: 

"The Authority welcomes the MPS's recognition of the significant community concerns raised by the use of Section 44 and the commitment to publish a breakdown of the data on a borough basis. This will enable local community monitoring groups, through which communities can scrutinise the use of stop and search powers in their areas, to challenge any disproportionality and discrepancies.
"The MPS's commitment to produce new standard operating procedures, outlining how officers should put Section 44 policy into practice, is also welcomed as a positive step to reassure communities that the power is being used objectively, and without prejudice, in the fight against terrorism."

We ask all Londoners to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to our confidential Anti-Terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

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