Khan’s London: Police Use of Force up 79 Percent in Five Months

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: An armed police officer blocks the street as men charged with plotting the Hatton Garden jewellery heist arrive at Westminster Magistrates' Court on May 21, 2015 in London, England. Eight men, aged between 46 and 76, were charged with conspiracy to burgle following raids on …
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The number of times London’s Metropolitan Police resorted to using force has surged 79 percent in just months, as the capital’s crime wave takes hold.

The official number also revealed that black people were far more likely to have force used against them, leading to accusations of racism.

Forceful methods include the use of handcuffing, stun guns, CS spray, batons, and firearms.

Such methods were deployed 41,329 times in the city between April and August of this year, on average 270 times a day, official data reveals.

Police force used against different ethnic groups in London in September 2018. Green is “mixed,” yellow “other”, blue Asian, purple white, and orange represents black people. (Source: Met Police)

This compares with 23,118 incidents of force used in the corresponding five-month period last year, representing a massive 79 percent surge, according to analysis by The Guardian.

In the five-month period, a substantial 39 percent of occasions in which force was used by Met were on black people, who constitute approximately 13 percent of London’s population.

Whites and Asians were underrepresented in the numbers, making up approximately 59 percent and 18 percent of London’s population but accounting for 42 percent and 11 percent of incidents of force deployed by police respectively.

The Labour MP David Lammy blamed racism for Asians and whites not having as many violent confrontations with officers.

“Systemic racism still permeates each stage of the criminal justice system. More needs to be done to root out this bias, if we are to build trust between the police and the communities they serve,” he said.

The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, Matt Twist, commented: “The collation of these figures is still in its early stages, and as this is new data, there are no previous benchmarks to compare it to.

“Therefore any conclusions drawn from them must be carefully looked at against this context, and should only be compared with those individuals who have had contact with officers, rather than the entire demographic of London.”

Knife crime has been a particular problem in London, rising by more than 30 percent and the homicide rate overtaking New York City earlier this year. Despite this, it has been reported that police in the city solve just one in ten knife robberies.


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