London Citizens, a branch of community organising charity Citizens UK, have secured pledges from London Mayoral candidates to commission a £200,000 research project looking at the impact of stop and search Section 60 orders on Black communities and young Londonders.
On Wednesday 28 April, Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey pledged at an online assembly to look at the impact of Section 60 orders – which give the police the power to stop and search people within a predefined area without the need for reasonable suspicion. London Citizens say that these orders, which bring the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) to local neighbourhoods after knife incidents, are hugely damaging to trust and relationships between young people and the police, and are counterproductive to a public health approach to tackling knife crime.
JUSTICE have backed this campaign, following our recent report ‘Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System’, which made 45 positive and practical recommendations for change, questioned the role of Section 60, and called for independent research into its “impact and effectiveness”.
London Citizens also asked for additional powers to be granted to community scrutiny panels on the Met Police, but candidates were unable to commit to this.
Andrea Coomber, Director at JUSTICE, said:
“Section 60 stops and searches are hugely damaging to London’s ethnic minority children and communities, who are disproportionately targeted. There is no evidence that these powers are an effective policing tool. We welcome urgent research to find alternatives that meet these communities’ expectations of fair and impartial treatment. This is essential for the credibility of our justice system.”
Read our press release.