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Case
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Reference no. 221-0040-1
Published by: Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Originally published in: 2020
Version: 25 March 2021
Length: 30 pages
Data source: Generalised experience

Abstract

In the summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown heightened tensions between London's Metropolitan Police Service (Met) and the communities they policed, the latest data was published on the Met's use of stop and search. The reports showed that in May alone, during the strict lockdown, the Met had conducted 44,000 searches - an eight-year high - and searched Black Londoners at four times the rate of white Londoners. Stop and search was among the most contentious police powers in the UK. Many police leaders considered it a vital tool for detecting and preventing criminal activity, yet others, including some in the police, worried it was not used fairly, with Black and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals consistently searched at higher rates than their white counterparts. And while this racial disproportionality had endured for decades, it gained renewed visibility in 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests highlighted racial discrimination in policing. Commissioner Cressida Dick, the senior-most officer of the Met responsible for more than 30,000 officers, had to respond to the growing scrutiny around stop and search. This case puts students in her shoes to consider how she can build trust with minority ethnic communities while also maintaining the trust and confidence of the Met - an overwhelmingly white institution - as well as the wider public and multiple political structures.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe
Country:
United Kingdom
Location:
London

Featured company

Metropolitan Police
Type:
Government agency

Featured protagonist

  • Cressida Dick (female), Commissioner

About

Abstract

In the summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown heightened tensions between London's Metropolitan Police Service (Met) and the communities they policed, the latest data was published on the Met's use of stop and search. The reports showed that in May alone, during the strict lockdown, the Met had conducted 44,000 searches - an eight-year high - and searched Black Londoners at four times the rate of white Londoners. Stop and search was among the most contentious police powers in the UK. Many police leaders considered it a vital tool for detecting and preventing criminal activity, yet others, including some in the police, worried it was not used fairly, with Black and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals consistently searched at higher rates than their white counterparts. And while this racial disproportionality had endured for decades, it gained renewed visibility in 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests highlighted racial discrimination in policing. Commissioner Cressida Dick, the senior-most officer of the Met responsible for more than 30,000 officers, had to respond to the growing scrutiny around stop and search. This case puts students in her shoes to consider how she can build trust with minority ethnic communities while also maintaining the trust and confidence of the Met - an overwhelmingly white institution - as well as the wider public and multiple political structures.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.

Settings

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe
Country:
United Kingdom
Location:
London

Featured company

Metropolitan Police
Type:
Government agency

Featured protagonist

  • Cressida Dick (female), Commissioner

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