(MAC0051)

                                                                       

 

Written evidence submitted by Dame Cressida Dick DBE QPM, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MAC0051)

 

             

METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE RESPONSE TO HOME AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE QUERIES RAISED DURING COMMISSIONER DICK’S ORAL EVIDENCE SESSION ON 8th JULY 2020

             

Following my evidence at the Home Affairs Select Committee on 8th July, I am writing to provide responses to the additional questions raised by the Committee during the session.

Before I do so, as we discussed during the recent evidence session, the Met has come a long way, not just overall in the last 21 years since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry but particularly in the last few. This progress can be seen internally and in our service provision, and how we work with and for our communities.

The MPS continues to progress.  We’re working hard to ensure that our service to our communities, and support for our own personnel, reflect the lessons we’ve learned, and build on the reforms we’ve made. These are issues that are important to me, and have been for all of my career, and I know there is more progress to be made. But we are not the organisation we were 20 years ago.

During our session we touched on a number of different areas of the MPS’s work, driving positive or improved outcomes in diversity, race and inclusion. An outline of some of these areas of work is below:

 

Our Communities:

-          Independent Advisory Groups in all BCUs and we have central strategic IAGs in place for Race, Disability and LGBT.  There are also established bespoke forums working with senior community leaders representing Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and different black communities.

-          Aside from critical incident training, we now work with Independent Advisory Groups extensively, community contacts, community reference groups, and partners, to understand and minimise the impact of critical incidents on communities and our actions in response.

-          Communities Engagement Team established following the 2005 London bombings to work more closely with and engage communities at a more strategic level.

-          Divert programme established in 2015, to prevent 18-25 year olds from re-offending, lead them away from crime, and into employment, education and training.

-          1,000 Family Liaison Officers and Family Liaison Coordinators (and CT FLOs) now ensure effective communication, based on trust and confidence, between families and police investigations.

-          Stop & Search policy is to use this tactic intelligently to reduce violence in London’s communities.  To ensure stop and search is used fairly, the MPS is a voluntary member of the Home Office Best Use of Stop & Search Scheme (BUSS).  For one in every five stops and searches, we detect criminality.  Stop and Search data available to the public on the MPS Website.  Recording of Stop and Search encounters on BWV is mandatory.

-          BWV rolled out to 22,000+ officers and widely acknowledged to be a ‘game changer' in terms of our accountability and as a safeguard for our officers.

-          The Directorate of Professional Standards has a preventative approach to addressing complaints and misconduct, with a particular focus on discrimination.  Both new recruit and promotion training include input regarding challenging and reporting inappropriate behaviour and officers on promotion receive training around unconscious bias and discrimination.

-          Discrimination Investigation Unit dedicated to investigating discrimination allegations, whether from a public complaint or an internal conduct allegation.  The Unit works in close partnership with our Grievance Management Team who deal with all internal grievances.  In 2016, we introduced a new grievance policy to provide greater support to officers and staff who raise discrimination concerns.

-          The Strategic Inclusion Diversity and Equality (STRIDE) programme ensures good practice across all business groups and STRIDE board personally chaired by Cmsr.

-          Close links established with third party reporting groups, e.g. True Vision, Tell Mama, Galop, Community Security Trust.  These organisations, along with CPS hate crime leads, MPS Staff associations and faith leaders, form part of the membership of the Hate Crime Diamond Group to inform our policies and practices.

-          Hate Crime Liaison Officers, in all BCUs to help reassure and educate communities.

-          Hate crime reporting is also rising steadily, and we are confident that this increase in reporting represents public confidence in our willingness to take hate crime seriously.

-          Hate Crime Hub established in 2017, to encourage reporting and improve our response to online hate.  In 2019, after collaboration with numerous hate crime agencies it created a new comprehensive Hate Crime booklet - Helping Victims of Hate Crime’, a wide-ranging guide to almost every aspect of hate crime.  It covers all protected characteristics of hate crime, delivers practical information for victims, and allows officers to refresh their knowledge on all aspects of hate crime.  Translated into 13 different languages and also includes a braille section.

-          A robust and comprehensive review process for all homicide investigations.  Where an investigation is suspended, this is subject to a review every two years.

Our people

-          The MPS is now more diverse and representative than ever before.  BAME officers now make up just over 15% of officer strength and account for more than half of all BAME officers across England and Wales.

-          We have redesigned our internal promotions processes and frameworks to increase BAME officer representation at senior ranks.

-          Over the last three years, we’ve redesigned Police Constable recruitment to reduce disproportionality in our selection process.  We also have a strong positive action offer for all BAME candidates going through the recruitment process. 

-          Applicant Engagement Portal has now launched to provide guidance through the recruitment journey.  This provides BAME and female candidates with online chat facilities with Met recruitment officers & staff as well as online videos and other useful information on the role.

-          We continue to run fortnightly Meet the Met events as part of our positive action strategy for BAME and female candidates in the PC pipeline – always opened by senior officer sponsors to demonstrate the Met’s commitment to recruitment and diversity.

 

There are new ways to join us, designed to increasing social mobility and diversity as we develop policing as a profession:

-          This March we launched a new entry scheme for candidates who want to get a degree.  They can now enrol on a three-year apprenticeship programme so they can learn at university whilst they are employed as police constables from day one. 

-          In May 2017 we were the first force to introduce external entry detectives.  This has seen higher levels of diversity than our PC recruitment. 

-          In a first for policing in November 2019 we introduced a part time recruitment pathway, meaning that new recruits can complete their police training part-time and hit the streets of London in a part-time role to offer more flexibility. 

-          Graduates can also join us through Police Now. 

-          All new officers receive training on racism awareness and diversity, as well as the impact of unconscious bias.  New officers and staff complete a National Centre for Applied Learning Technologies (NCALT) module on equality and diversity, legislation and protected characteristics.  New recruits also undertake classroom learning on equality and diversity (developed by the College of Policing) to understand different communities and cultures and how a person’s culture or faith can impact their response to situations and create misunderstanding.  All MPS call handlers trained on recognising hate crime.

-          20 staff support associations to support our personnel of different ethnicities, faith groups, disabilities or sexual orientations.

-          Our Volunteer Police Cadets programme is the largest in the country, with around 4,500 cadets across every London borough.  The programme actively seeks to engage with at risk and disadvantaged young people and over 43% of our cadets are from BAME communities.

-          The high standards expected are made clear when officers and staff join the service.   Mandatory training around racism awareness, diversity and inclusivity reinforces this.  We also have a clear Code of Ethics that reinforces the standards required of all officers.

At the session on 8 July, I undertook to provide written responses to the following:

  1. Provide the number of arrests at the protests over the weekend of 13/14 June 2020 (as per Q10 from the Transcript)

 

In relation to the protest on the weekend of 13th / 14th June, there were 131 arrests on Saturday 13th and there were no arrests on Sunday 14th. There have been 16 further arrests since in relation to disorder on 13th June. A post-event investigation continues.

 

  1. Provide proportionality statistics regarding the usage of Taser

Taser was used by the MPS 10,058 times between April 2019 and March 2020 (recognizing that ‘usage’ is a far broader term than Taser being fired or discharged). Looking at usage by ethnicity, 38% of it was on a White person, 44% on a Black person, and 10% on a person of Asian ethnicity. London is 40% BAME, though demographic projections vary across the city.

On 91% of occasions a Taser is ‘used’ in the MPS it is not fired or discharged. Over the same time period, Taser was fired 918 times; 41% of these were on a White person, 41% on a Black person, and 9% on an Asian person.

 

  1. Provide a chart to show correlation between reducing violent crime in an area and the increase in stop and search

 

In the charts below, violence is defined as non-domestic abuse violence with injury, and non-domestic abuse knife crime injury victims aged under 25 and data had been analysed for the whole MPS and for Lambeth and Southwark Boroughs, which are the two highest volume boroughs for this definition of violence.

The data shows a correlation between increased stop and search and declining violence both MPS wide and locally in Lambeth and Southwark. The correlation is not linear and whilst there are many factors at play the red dotted trend line on the graphs is an indication of a long term trend of violence decreasing as stop & search increases.

 

 

  1. Provide data on staff retention, broken down by ethnicity; offer the committee an opportunity to look at our work in this area

 

The table below shows the length of service profiles for MPS officers, split by White and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups:

Length of service profiles – 30 June 2020

Please note this table shows the length of service profiles for the current workforce.

 

You can see below a breakdown showing length of service, gender and ethnicity for our staff. If you would like to explore this further, please do let me know and we could arrange a briefing.

 

 

Police Officer

Overall Total

BaME Total

 

Total

%

Female

%

Total

%

Female

%

Less than 2

6,046.23

18.57%

1,955.74

21.62%

1,028.04

20.70%

299.04

23.96%

2-4

3,726.48

11.44%

1,154.03

12.76%

878.58

17.69%

207.63

16.64%

5-9

5,896.20

18.10%

1,671.31

18.48%

1,014.16

20.42%

240.56

19.27%

10-14

5,448.48

16.73%

1,631.50

18.04%

871.38

17.54%

234.50

18.79%

15-19

6,650.93

20.42%

1,595.50

17.64%

843.29

16.98%

194.22

15.56%

20-24

2,523.70

7.75%

499.83

5.53%

183.26

3.69%

38.26

3.07%

25-29

1,901.06

5.84%

441.44

4.88%

139.63

2.81%

32.18

2.58%

30-34

321.08

0.99%

88.74

0.98%

7.70

0.16%

1.70

0.14%

35-39

46.55

0.14%

5.00

0.06%

1.00

0.02%

0.00

0.00%

40 and over

7.00

0.02%

1.00

0.01%

0.00

0.00%

0.00

0.00%

Total

32,567.70

100.00%

9,044.09

100.00%

4967.03

100.00%

1,248.08

100.00%

 

 

 

 

More granular information is available within the BAME ethnicities of officers, as below:

 

Police
Officer

BAME

Black or Black British

Asian or Asian British

Mixed

Chinese or Other

Less Than 2

236

379

262

152

2-4

180

360

222

117

5-9

190

400

272

152

10-14

184

361

197

130

15-19

225

321

174

122

20-24

55

67

29

33

25-29

61

48

12

19

30-34

5

3

 

 

35-39

 

 

1

 

40+

 

 

 

 

Total

1,135

1,939

1,169

724

 

  1. Provide analysis based on MPS data of the number of people stopped and searched, by ethnicity and age, where nothing was found. To also provide this as a proportion of the London population

 

The following table provides the headline figures requested over a twelve month period to the end of June 2020. It highlights stops where “No Further Action” (NFA) was taken, meaning no criminality was detected during the encounter. This is different to “nothing was found” as, for example, an arrest of a person wanted on warrant may not locate an item but did detect or find criminality. The inverse of ‘no further action’, a positive outcome rate, is also shown.

It is assumed that this data is requested as a means of understanding the differential experiences of citizens in London, by gender, age or ethnicity. Using residential population data as a benchmark comparison to Police data (to understand differential Policing experiences by gender, age or ethnicity) is problematic. The reason for this is that crime is not distributed evenly across London, in geography or time. This means that using the whole of London’s population as a benchmark for comparison – particularly as the last census was in 2011 – must be treated with extreme caution when attempting to assess differential experiences of policing.

 

Volume of searches[1]

% of London population searched resulting in NFA

Positive Outcome Rate

Female

21,221

0.4%

22%

Male

292,778

5.7%

22%

Asian

53,139

2.6%

22%

Black

124,326

7.7%

21%

Other

15,532

3.1%

21%

White

118,938

1.9%

23%

Under 25

188,639

5.7%

20%

Under 40

94,386

3.0%

26%

Over 40

32,276

0.8%

23%

 

  1. Provide data on the Violence Suppression Units, including the number of new recruits in teams, ethnicity breakdown and a description of the training they have had. Provide information as to what stage in their training are at when they start attachments to VSUs.

 

The Violence Suppression Units were launched in May 2020. These teams are a mix of uniform and detective officers. Over 50% of the total full time officers are already in place - with all teams at or steadily increasing to their full establishments.  Officers apply and are carefully selected locally for aptitude, experience and suitability.

The VSUs are led by selected and dedicated Inspectors and Sergeants. Team members have all received officer safety training. Other skills include - trained drivers, public order and forced entry trained staff as well as 100 officers Taser trained.

Student officers who have reached independent patrol status - usually after eight weeks - are rotated on a four week VSU attachment. They are closely supported and supervised by permanent VSU officers - with a 1:4 minimum supervision ratio. The latest MPS student intakes have 33% female and 15% BAME.

The MPS currently has 752 Officers posted to our 12 VSUs. Of these, 387 are permanently attached to the VSUs and currently 365 are student officers on rotation.

Below are staffing breakdowns for those permanently attached to their VSU team.

BAME:

Of 387 Officers 71 are BAME background. This equates to 18% of the permanent VSU Officers.:

Inspector    

1

Sergeant    

2

Constable        

44

Probationers          

21

DC

3

 

Gender:

Of the 387 Officers 103 are female. This equates to 27% of the permanent VSU Officers.

Inspector

1

Sergeant

5

PC

54

Probationers

40

DC

3

 

Some VSU Officers are both female and BAME but this has not been detailed.

 

  1. Given the concerns that Diane Abbott raised earlier about the vehicle stops and people’s reported experience, if there is anything further that you can write to us on, that would be helpful.

 

The power to stop a vehicle is a fundamental and vital policing tool and its impact is much wider than traffic enforcement. There are a number of reasons why police officers may want to stop a vehicle and they can do so under a variety of powers. The most common being s163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which allows officers in uniform to stop any vehicle, including bicycles for any reason.  

 

Vehicles are stopped by Police for a wide variety of reasons, common examples include identifying and investigating moving traffic offences, examining apparent vehicle defects, addressing poor or illegal driving and road closures. Vehicles are also stopped regularly as part of a range of proactive tactics such as ANPR operations, drink drive campaigns and both random and targeted placements to deter and disrupt organised criminal networks and as part of wider counter terrorism tactics.

 

These vehicle stops will be conducted by officers from across all strands of the Met and are not just limited to traffic officers or response officers. Many of these vehicle stops will be momentary; others will be more involved, with thousands of vehicles being checked every day across London. Each stop is dealt with on its own merits at the discretion of the individual officers involved with officers making judgement calls regularly on a daily basis. They understand that their actions will be scrutinised as they go about their work and that the public have the right to hold them to account where appropriate.

 

The methods of recording vehicle stops are as varied as the encounters themselves. They are all mandatory encounters for the use of police Body Worn Video (BWV) meaning they are available for supervision and external scrutiny. Recording methods are not limited to BWV and include on the Police National Computer (PNC), on stop and search reports, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations and through the criminal justice system where prosecutions such as Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) are issued. Each platform only records details necessary for the encounter itself.  This can include location, reason, details of the officer stopping and in the case of stop and search encounters or prosecutions, ethnicity, age and gender and reasons for stop. Officers should always explain why they have stopped the vehicle.

 

This proportionate recording approach means there is no single blanket recording process for all vehicle stops.

 

 

  1. Provide information on when we review footage, looking for misconduct or other things and how we look for other things.

 

The Met’s Department of Professional Standards reviews footage circulating on Social Media, with the support of tactical advisors where appropriate.

 

First and foremost, the review aims to identify if there is an indication that anyone serving within the police may have committed a criminal offence, or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings, and would result in an officer receiving at least a written warning were the conduct proven. The review also aims to identify if a public complaint has been made by someone who is identified as eligible to complain under the Police Reform Act.

 

Where a public complaint or conduct matter is identified, the reviewing officers consider whether the matter meets the criteria for mandatory referral to the IOPC, or whether it should be voluntarily referred. Where referral is appropriate, it is carried out immediately.

 

Police Officers and Staff have a very difficult job and, just because an incident has not been handled perfectly, or has ended with force being used, does not mean that officers or staff have breached the Code of Ethics to the extent that misconduct proceedings would be appropriate.  Where an incident has been mishandled, it is far more likely that this is the result of poor performance or training, rather than wilful and deliberate misconduct. The MPS is committed to learning from these incidents, and supporting staff and officers to improve future performance, ensuring that they are provided with the training they need to provide the service the communities of London deserve.

 

Footage of such incidents often involves a use of force issue on the street, filmed or partially filmed by a member of the public and posted onto social media. The videos are then shared widely and rapidly, sometimes with negative comments from those viewing.

 

There is a clear balance to be struck in supporting our officers going about their duties in often very difficult circumstances and reassuring the public when they view an apparently alarming incident.

 

It is important to highlight that footage circulated on social media often captures only a small part of a wider incident. Therefore, when a matter is referred to DPS and work is undertaken to fully establish the circumstances. The review process will include examining officers’ Body Worn Video footage, statements, stop and search forms and use of force forms. As part of this review process, the DPS will inform / liaise with:


+ The relevant Basic Command Unit for location of incident

+ The relevant Operational Command Unit where the officers are attached if different to Basic Command Unit (e.g. Territorial Support Group, Roads Traffic, Violent Crime Taskforce, MO19 Firearms)
+ Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement (CPIE) team.
+ Directorate of Professional Standards Senior Leadership Team / on call Senior Investigating Officer
+ Use of force leads
+ On call National Police Chiefs Council rank officer (if high profile / out of hours)
+ Gold/Silver for any operation or event that may also be running across London at the time (e.g. Covid, public order) if related/likely to have an impact.


If there is an urgent need for a response outside the core working hours of the DPS Mailbox, Press Bureau will take on the information gathering and liaison role above via those on call for their areas.

 

In conjunction with the process outlined above, we talk to and listen to the local community, including local community groups and forums, to address any concerns.

 

It is recognised that police officers work in difficult conditions and on occasion have to use force that must be justified.  They understand that their actions will be scrutinised as they go about their work and that the public have the right to hold them to account where appropriate.

 

  1. Provide more information on the content of training for new officers which covers anti-racism and structural inequalities

 

Recruit pathways now

All new officers joining the MPS receive training on diversity, unconscious bias and understanding the context of policing in London. They begin training by undertaking a Certificate in Policing Knowledge (CKP). Within these first seven weeks of CKP, their learning involves hearing from speakers from local youth groups in order to engage our newest officers in the challenges locally.

The next stage of their training is the practical implementation of their knowledge, trained within our own facilities at Hendon and Marlowe House. In this phase they receive lessons across a range of learning outcomes that deal with equalities and diversity subject matter. As part of this phase of learning, an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) chair addresses recruits towards the end of their training to embed the importance of having critical friends, scrutiny and transparency in policing.

Recruit training uses role-play to achieve learning outcomes across the curriculum. We have engaged members of the community to support some of our roleplay activity. This is something we want to progress further when the current restrictions allow, but a recent example of success is when we engaged an amateur dramatic youth group in our roleplays.

We welcome community involvement in training, and seek to increase levels of observing and engagement as we recover from Covid-19 restrictions.  We involve the Stop and Search Scrutiny panel in inputs on Stop and Search and other use of force sessions, including safety training. This enables us to increase transparency and obtain feedback from members. This is something we want to progress further and achieve more consistently and regularly.

Covid 19 has naturally impacted on our ability to deliver the training we have described in all of the usual ways. Recovery will involve even more focus on community involvement, and will also coincide with some significant curriculum developments that are specifically aimed at strengthening the diversity and inclusion learning outcomes in learning for new police officers and which are being designed with community stakeholder involvement:

Recruit pathways in 2021

This new curriculum is being developed to support our new pathways. These pathways launch at the start of next year for all new officers, including enhanced standard training, apprenticeship degrees and degree holder programmes.

Regardless of pathway, all new recruits will receive training and engage in learning across a newly designed curriculum. A key priority within our new recruit pathways is to support how the organisation builds trust and confidence with the communities that our new officers serve, recognising community specific experiences of inequalities and disproportionality in a policing context. The new curriculum focuses on key areas such as the use of force in this context, accountability and transparency. 

Example Learning Outcomes

          To know and understand the four key principles of procedural justice, namely;

          Treating people with respect and dignity

          Making unbiased decisions and interpreting and applying rules consistently and transparently

          Giving people a voice during encounters

          Showing and encouraging trust by being sincere, caring and authentic, and trying to do what is right for everyone

          Understand how to promote these principles in practice

          Understand why people may feel their treatment is procedurally unjust

          Understand why disproportionate policing outcomes affects trust and confidence in the police from BAME communities

          Be able to explain the link between the Human Rights Act and procedural justice

These outcomes have been developed to support new recruit training and wider learning within the organisation.

 

During the session, I suggested that I would check if there had been any complaints regarding the policing of the BlackLives Matter and far right protests on the weekend of 13/14 June. We have received two allegations although both are related to one case, and these allegations are being handled by the MPS Taskforce.

I would like to again extend my invitation to the Committee to visit the Metropolitan Police Service, to see our work first hand by coming and spending time with our frontline policing teams. We would be delighted to host you at any time.

If I or my team can be of assistance on any questions related to policing, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Cressida Dick

Commissioner

 

December 2020

 


[1] Some of the searches could be multiple searches of the same person, or persons from outside London