Stops, Knife Crime & BLM. What Is Going On In London?

Last night my attention was drawn to this tweet from Norman Brennan.

Are things really that dire in Londinium, and if they are, why?

I must warn you, this is going to get very numbery, and I need to try out my new crayons.  Let’s start by having a look at Stop/Search in London over the last 2 years.

So there we see the beginnings of a potential problem, or is it?  There has indeed been a fall in the total number of Stop/Searches, in the order of 13,652 fewer (or 31%).  BUT, the May figure was in itself a spike and the numbers in June have more or less returned to normal.  I have no idea what, specifically, was going on in London during May, but something has caused a spike.  Possibly increased ‘Proactivity’ during a period of Lockdown?  I don’t know, maybe one of the serving officers can tell me.

There has been a lot of fuss in the media over the past few days about athletes getting stopped and the Met were accused of Racism and Racial Profiling.  How do the Stop/Searches over the past 2 years break down?

Well to be fair there have been a few months when the proportion of Black people stopped and searched has gone up, for whatever reason, but for most of the two year period, when one ethnicity gets stopped nore frequently, so do the others. In the very last set of data, June 2020, there were actually1,428 fewer Black people stopped than Whites.  Once again, I cannot provide a reason for that, but that is what the stats show.  Racially prejudiced or Profiled?  I can’t see any evidence to support that accusation.

How do the figures stack up when it comes to Positive Outcomes? i.e. the number of occasions something was found as a result of the Stop and Search?  Any racial bias there?

Interpret that any way you want but when one Ethnic Group rises they all rise, when one falls they all reduce.  In recent months the total number of Positive Outcomes for Black people stopped has been lower than for White people. 

What does the long term pattern over two years show us?

Before I leave Stop/Search and move onto Crimes, for the sake of completeness and transparency, we may as well include age and gender (there are only 2 genders because that all is the Met provide stats for).

Males are far more likely to get Stopped and Searched than Females, and the 15-25 year olds are streets ahead of any other age group.  Not surprising I suppose, there isn’t much chance of having sufficient grounds to Stop and Search many 75 year old Grandmas.

Almost at the end now.  How have the Knife Crime stats looked over the last two years?

The red/orange line representing the 2 year average, it is plain that Knife crime in London has slowed dramatically in 2020, way below average.  However this could be the results of CoronaVirus Lockdowns, increased numbers of Police on the streets or anything else.

Knife Crime with Injury.  A separate set of stats, how does that shape up in London?

Once again, below the red/orange Average line at the moment. 

In conclusion, looking at the bald statistics and with no current, personal knowledge of what is going on, it would appear that there HAS been a large drop in Stop Search during June, but only dropping back to the current baseline figure.  Why the spike in May is currently a mystery.  Has this alleged lack of Police activity caused a massive rise in Knife enabled crimes and Injuries caused by Knives?  I don’t think that the statistics bear that out at all.  There was an increase in both types of Knife Crime in May 2020, but still significantly below the two year average.

Sorry Norman, on the basis of the Met’s published statistics I cannot agree with your Senior Officer.

Whether ANY of this has anything to do with Black Lives Matter I can’t possibly say, but at least we have the cold, dry stats to form an opinion on.

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