The pilot will help to review vehicle stops to better understand proportionality relating to ethnicity, and it was first announced as part of the Mayor’s action plan published in November 2020.
Roads policing officers across London will record the location and time of the vehicle stop, ethnic background, sex and age of the driver, and the make and model of the vehicle. All policing duties will be carried out first, and the data will be recorded at the end of the stop.
Met Operations Commander Kyle Gordon said: ““The Met is committed to making London’s roads safer in line the Mayor’s Vision Zero plan. In 2020 we lost 96 people in traffic collisions in London. This is more than just a number, it is a sad reality which leaves families and loved ones devastated in its wake – our Road Traffic Act powers are critical to reducing this figure and protecting our communities on London’s roads.
“However it is right and proper that we are transparent and accountable in the use of our powers and this pilot will help us assess our proportionality in relation to vehicle stops. This is part of the steps we are taking to increase even further public trust and confidence in the Met – particularly among London’s black communities.
“Officers will explain to the people stopped that we are asking for the information to help us understand our impact on London’s travelling public and to increase confidence.
“We want all communities to have the same level of trust in us and for us to be the most trusted police service in the world. Lower levels of trust create challenges to keeping Londoners safe whether it is a reluctance to share information, to report crime, or to support our work to tackle violence.
“Our job is quite simply to protect all of London’s communities and to do so with professionalism and empathy. This pilot is, I believe, a way to ensure we keep doing just that.”
The pilot is due to run over a six-month period with a report expected to be published in the summer. The outcome of the pilot will be reviewed for any future action.
The pilot is part of a number of initiatives the Met is progressing including:
- It is refreshing our stop and search training so our new recruits will spend time understanding the importance of cultural awareness and the impact the power has on communities, specifically black communities.
- It has reinstated access by community monitoring groups to body worn video, having had to pause this due to a decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office
- Academic research is to be undertaken of a sample of body worn video footage to understand better the nature of stop and search interactions and the behaviour factors of officers or individuals that lead to escalation in the use of force.
- It will ensure our recruits spend time learning the history of the local area they will police, including learning the cultural history, experiences and the challenges. This will be supplemented by a local community immersion project.
- Officer safety training for new recruits will be centred on de-escalation and have involvement from representatives from black communities.