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22/02/07
Met Chief Faces his Stop and Search Critics
- Sir Ian Blair criticised by Met Police Authority over use of Terror powers

Met Chief Faces his Stop and Search CriticsLONDON's POLICE CHIEF Sir Ian Blair has come under fire from Toby Harris of the body that oversees his force; the Metropolitan Police Authority in a meeting today.

The criticism follows new figures that show firstly the inefficiency of anti-terror stop and search legislation and secondly that it is being used dis-proportionately against the capital's Asian community.

Toby Harris, MPA member with special responsibility for counter-terrorism, said: “Londoners tell us that police counter-terrorist tactics will only command public confidence if they are – and are seen to be – appropriate, proportionate and fair. It is on these grounds that they so strongly object to the use of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 stop and search powers, which they consider inappropriate and unfair.

He warned: "Use of this power is doing untold damage to certain communities’ confidence in the police, and its effectiveness in countering terrorism is in serious doubt. The report recommends that the Met justify its use of this power, or stop using it."

The Met Chief told the MPA: "Of course we will review it. We have to reflect on what's being said to us. But we have to have every methodology available to us (too).

Stops and Searches under Anti-Terror measures (Sept 05 - Oct 06):
22,672 total
of which arrests for:
27 terrorism
242 other
16% Asian, 52% White
Source: MPA



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