Islington police top London stop and search figures


- Credit: Archant

Police using stop and search in Islington have the highest arrest rate in London, new figures have revealed.

Of 266 stops made by officers in September, 27.1 per cent led to arrests – compared to 20.4 per cent in Hackney and just 18.7 per cent in Camden.

The rate is up from 18.3 per cent in September 2013 when 469 searches were carried out, 203 more than the same month this year.

The improved rate and drop in the number of searches comes after a report published in July 2013 found that one in four searches in the UK were undertaken without the correct grounds.

Chief inspector Ian Howells, who played a major part in re-educating officers in stop and search, said: “Stop and search is probably the main power that separates a police officer from a member of the public, to demand to search someone, but I think we have to be very careful how we use that and I think on the whole we are.

“Obviously in any organisation you’re going to have exceptions to that but we’re trying to reduce that as much as we possibly can.

“The commissioner has been leading the way and his emphasis has been on making sure that within the whole of the organisation the powers are being used properly and that searches are being properly recorded.

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“We’ve all accepted that we need to be more focused.”

In the last four months of 2013 Islington’s arrest rate did not reach 20 per cent, but since January the rate has been above one in five.

Chief Inspector Howells said that the target was to keep the arrest rate above 20 per cent.

“If you’re getting one in three or one in four then I think that is remarkable,” he said.

“I don’t think you’re going to get it much higher than this, 27 per cent is very high, but if you look at it across the whole of the year we’re already at 20 per cent.

“Because of the focus we’ve put into it we’ve managed to reduce the number down to about 300 a month.”

Out of the 1,063 arrests made between October 2013 and September this year, more than a third were for possession of drugs while 93.4 per cent were male.