Sun, 04 Nov 2007

Record number of Section 44 stop and search by the Met in 2005/6, less than half a percent arrested in connection with terrorism

The Ministry of Justice has just published the Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2006 for the financial year 2005-2006. In addition to giving ‘statistical information on the representation of [Black and Minority Ethnic] BME groups as suspects, offenders and victims within the CJS’, this report always includes detailed data on stop and searches conducted that year.

This report is no longer published by the Home Office on a page dedicated to the Criminal Justice Act 1991 Section 95, it can now be found on the CJS website and seems to be linked only from the What's New page. It is still being published very late.

Excerpt from Main Findings - Terrorism Act 2000: Tables 4.6-4.8 (p.26):

The number of stop and searches of pedestrians under section 44(2) [for which no reasonable grounds for suspicion is needed] nearly doubled between 2004/5 and 2005/6 with 19,064 stop and searches recorded in 2005/6. This increase was accounted for by the increase in use of the power in London. Use of the power in areas outside of London decreased by 19% between 2004/5 and 2005/6. In 2005/6, 61% of people stopped under section 44(2) were White compared to 74% in 2004/5 and 72% in 2003/4. The proportions for Black and Asian people fell to 11% and 21% respectively in 2005/6. In 2005/6, 59 arrests in connection with terrorism resulted from section 44(2) searches compared to 24 in the previous year and 5 in 2003/4. Arrests under non-terrorist legislation rose from 153 in 2004/5 to 212 in 2005/6.

Excerpt from Table 4.8: ‘Stop and searches’ of pedestrians under s 44(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000 and resultant arrests by ethnicity, selected areas, 2005/6 (p. 36):

Searches Arrests in connection with terrorism Arrests for other reasons
City of London 3,149 n/a 23
Metropolitan Police 11,407 49 148
Other areas 4,508 10 41
England & Wales 19,064 59 212

Comparing this data, for the Metropolitan Police, to that of previous years (more analysis in A pawn in their propaganda machine), you'll notice that the number of searches under Section 44(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000 more than doubled in 2005/6 compared to the previous year, but the number of arrests in connection with terrorism at 49 remains less that half a percent. And of these 49, only a few will be charged and even less convicted. (The coloured table cells show how my arrest must have been counted in these stats.)

2003/4 2004/5 2005/6
S44(2) searches (Metropolitan Police) 5,245 4,206 11,407
Arrests in connection with terrorism 2 (0.04%) 15 (0.36%) 49 (0.43%)
Arrests for other reasons 57 (1.09%) 51 (1.21%) 148 (1.30%)

This data confirms the abuse of Section 44 stop and search. As recently as last May, the Metropolitan Police Service reiterated how keen they are to keep (over)using these powers.

websiteblogblog archivenews feedfeedback