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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Stop and Search advice and leaflets

Due to the changes to Stop and Search legislation, and the changes to Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) codes, following the enactment of Crime and Security Act 2010 earlier in 2011, there has been a need to update the Police Stops “Know Your Rights” leaflets.

The power under Section 44 no longer exists and has been replaced with Section 47A of schedule 6b to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The current “Know Your Right” leaflets and information held by the MPA are therefore out of date but we have been working to update the information and replace with more accurate information. New leaflets are currently being developed and will soon be made accessible to police authorities.

In the mean time, the information at Police Stops - Know your rights may be useful..

Stop and Search - know your rights competition

Can you produce a catchy short video (Min 90 seconds, Max 3 minutes long) that demonstrates your rights when you are stopped and searched or asked to Stop and Account?

If you think you can, then now is your chance to prove it. Enter this competition and submit your video to your local Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group (CMG). What you submit is up to you and should be in your own words and pictures. Entrants must submit their entries by 28 October 2011 to their local CMG for judging locally.

Stop and Search - know your rights competition more information

Stop and Search Scrutiny

The MPA is committed to working with the MPS to improve Stop and Search and reduce disproportionality. Stop and Search continues to be a high profile feature of policing which needs to be used in a fair and systematic way. Police authorities have key roles to publicise people’s rights in relation to stop and search, engaging communities to work with the police to monitor its use and helping establish and maintain good practice that emphasises policing by consent and challenges discriminatory practices.


Black, Asian and people from minority ethnic groups are far more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by the police. This is an interpretation that has been reported in Home Office research studies using data collected by police services. In 2002 the MPA instigated a scrutiny to establish the reasons behind the disproportionality and what could be done to improve the stop and search practice and restore trust and confidence in the Police.

The MPA shares the concern of London’s communities that stop and search can be unfairly applied. Many other statutory agencies, including police services themselves, have been examining this issue to ensure the practice of stop and search is conducted fairly and with respect. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry reported that stop and search, in particular, had created divisions between the police and certain communities and set out recommendations to assist in making improvements.

There have been a number of studies conducted on disproportionality in stop and search. However, the MPA’s focus has been whether stop and search is being used effectively towards deterring and solving crime in London or whether bias in racial attitudes within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is largely to account for the disproportionality.

The scrutiny of the stop and search practice in 2004 was a form of ‘policy review’. It provided an opportunity for invited witnesses from the MPS, communities and external organisations to set out their perspectives. The scrutiny included a mix of research and evidence hearings to understand the response and performance of the MPS against set benchmarks and yardsticks. The scrutiny required officials and stakeholders to account for themselves to an MPA panel and provided an opportunity to submit written evidence. It sought to bring to light facts and opinions that are frequently hidden from view.

The MPA panel membership included MPA members and other nominated representatives from community groups. Cecile Wright chaired the panel as well as the former MPA Equal Opportunities and Diversity Board which sponsored the scrutiny. The outcome and 55 recommendations of the scrutiny were published in a report published October 2004. Since then a significant amount of work has been carried out by the MPA and the MPS and robust mechanisms to scrutinise police practices have been put in place. A review of the work carried out over the last four years is currently being conducted and a report will be published later this year 2010.

Implementation and review of recommendations

The purpose of the implementation and review process of the recommendations from the scrutiny report will include:

  • scrutiny and review the progress of the MPS against the 32 recommendations implemented by the MPA;
  • a review of the remaining 22 recommendations involving engagement of statutory and voluntary partners on behalf of the MPA; and
  • referring issues that are unable to be resolved though the implementation and review board to the former MPA Equality and Diversity Board.

The implementation and review will also look at:

  • the grounds for a stop and search;
  • the extent of police intelligence to inform the use of the practice;
  • quality of information and intelligence provided to operational officers;
  • whether police suspicion/intuition leads to stop and search of different racial groups in relation to behaviour/attitude/activities;
  • assessing the findings of intelligence from the stop and search data and quality of the searches;
  • identifying the cost effectiveness of direct and indirect stop and search in terms of public confidence as well as the positive outcomes achieved; and
  • the use of performance data to inform and engage communities by sharing best practice, changes to improve and retain trust and confidence, and sound communication strategies to inform London’s communities about stop and search.

To obtain minutes and supporting papers email

Achievements: Pan London Monitoring of Stop & Search

In 2005, the MPA established a Stop and Search Community Monitoring Network (SS CMN) Forum.

The Forum was set up to support community-based stop and search monitoring groups, led by MPA staff and community members appointed as co-chairs, first meeting in September 2005.

Aims and objectives

  • To improve Londoners’ trust and confidence in the way police officers conduct stop and search tactics on the streets
  • To ensure an efficient and effective system for monitoring policing actions is in place across London boroughs through community groups
  • To ensure members of the community monitoring groups are aware of their roles and responsibilities; acting as an independent overseer of borough police to examine and challenge apparent unfairness
  • To provide an arena for community members and stop and search Lead Police Officers to network across boroughs
  • To provide access to information on specific topics / areas such as the complaints process
  • To provide an opportunity to collectively resolve obstacles and issues
  • To promote sharing of best practice


The CMN membership comprises MPA staff, community representatives, statutory and voluntary organisations, and police at both local and corporate levels.

Frequency of meeting

The CMN meets 3 times a year but may also convene extraordinary meetings on important emerging issues.

Priority issues considered at meetings

  • Police data on stop and account and stop and search activity
  • Community responses to stop and search activity
  • MPA / MPS communications
  • Proposed operations/initiatives which may impact upon stop and search activity
  • Complaints to police through partner organisations and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
  • Third party reporting of complaints regarding the use of stop and search
  • Impact of other stop and search legislation, e.g. Section 60 , Section 44 stops and searches
  • Stop and search impact on role of police officers in schools/ truancy issues
  • Tension indicators in the area
  • Training and networking

To take part in your borough stop and search community monitoring group please contact Bennett Obong:

Metropolitan Police Authority
Pan London Engagement and Partnerships
Hate Crime and Stop & Search Policy Officer
10 Dean Farrar Street
London SW10 ONY

Telephone: 020 7202 0147


For notes and other papers relating to the CMN forum, please email:

Other achievements

  • The MPS introduced ‘Operation Pennant’ in October 2007. This is a tool to monitor borough stop and search data so borough commanders and their stop and search teams are accountable for anomalies such as non-recording of ethnicity on the 5090 forms as well as sharing best practice.
  • A four year review of the recommendations resulting from the scrutiny of the MPS was completed April 2008 – A summary of this work is due to be published in 2009
  • The development and launch of the stop and search ‘Go Wisely’ DVD in June 2008 was achieved by working in partnership with the Safer London Foundation, the MPS, Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG), Black Police Association Young Advocates (YBPA) and Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA)
  • In June 2008 the MPA held a conference entitled ‘Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much’ to celebrate the achievements since the publication of the scrutiny report. The conference was facilitated by Ben Paige, Managing Director of IPSO MORI Public Affairs and drew speakers and presentations from the Home Office, Senior MPS Officers, the GMPA & Lancashire Police Authority, and Second Wave (young people from a youth centre based in Deptford). Around 300 people attended the conference. 83% of the audience felt the conference was useful, informative and an opportunity to network with community groups.

MPA current focus

The MPA continues to scrutinise and monitor the use of the MPS Stop and Search practice through the MPS Stop and Search Team and the member led scrutiny of the MPS stop and search work which is normally reviewed by the MPA’s Community, Equalities and People Committee. It also undertakes officer led monitoring and review through the joint MPA/MPS ‘ Way Forward Group’, chaired by the MPA Head of Engagement and Partnerships. Membership includes MPS officers, MPA staff and Community Monitoring Network representatives.

The 2008 Flannigan Report found that the form filling for stop and account encounters was too time-consuming. The MPS redesigned and significantly shortened the stop and search 5090 form. The new form was trialled in four boroughs and was very successful in reducing the time taken by an officer to complete. The average time taken to complete the form from the onset of an encounter went from between 8 and 10 minutes using the old version to between 3 and 5 minutes with the new version. The new version was launched across all London boroughs January 2009. It is intended to continue to monitor this roll out.

The MPS is accountable to the MPA for all stop and search practices. The MPA, alongside community representatives, look at the trends in the recorded data, such as the increase in Section 60 stops since the launch of Operation Blunt.

The reporting structure for the stop and search Committee is attached in Appendix 1.

MPA Guidance for stop and search community monitoring

The use of stop and search powers by the MPS is subject to public scrutiny. This scrutiny is undertaken by borough based Community Monitoring Groups (CMGs) and provides local communities with the means to communicate their experiences of stop and search to their local police and to review the use of stop and search and stop and account powers in their boroughs. The monitoring process has been introduced to improve the trust and confidence of the public in the way the police employ stop and search interactions. Therefore, to influence this important area of policing, it is necessary to have an effective framework that monitors London‐wide stop and search practice. These two guides provide the foundation information (roles and responsibilities of the groups etc.) for the practice and the monitoring process.

Practical guides to:

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