Use of stop and search in Richmond rose by 300% in May compared to 2019

By Tess Colley
July 28 2020, 14.30

Metropolitan Police data for May shows there was a 300% increase in the use of stop and search in Richmond upon Thames compared to the same time last year. 

The data also shows that Lambeth, where there were 2,561 stops in May, had the second highest number of people stopped by police across all of London that month. 

But Richmond showed the biggest increase of all the south west London boroughs, up from 100 stops in May 2019 to 428 a year later. 

Across the city, the force carried out 43,000 stops in May compared to 21,000 a year earlier, most of which (68%) were under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said that because the coronavirus lockdown saw a reduction in emergency calls, and because the stay at home guidance made suspicious activity on the streets more visible, the force took the opportunity to be “even more proactive around preventing street-based violence and drug-dealing”. 

The spokesperson added: “Stop and search is a legitimate and important power that protects Londoners and keeps our streets safe by preventing crime, detecting offenders and building public confidence.”

Every south west London borough saw a significant rise in the use of stop and search in May.

Wandsworth saw a steep increase of more than 200% between this year and last, resulting in 998 stops this May. 

Kingston upon Thames and Merton also saw increases of more than 200% – up to 796 in Kingston and 708 in Merton. 

Of those stopped in London in May 2020, 17,268 people were black, 15,823 were white, and 7,377 were asian. 

The Met said the increased use of stop and search over the lockdown period resulted in large quantities of drugs and weapons being taken off the street. 

In April 2020 the force reported that 384 weapons were seized, including 200 knives, 14 firearms, 16 machetes and one samurai sword. 

For the vast majority (80%) of those stopped in May, no further action was taken. 

Related Articles