News

Local cop with pattern of ‘excess force’ sent for two training days

The council’s stop and search group heard how local police are trying to regain community trust
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

(credit: Met)
(credit: Met)

A Waltham Forest cop spotted using “excess force” during searches was dealt with by sending him for two training days and giving him personal feedback for three months.

The council’s stop and search scrutiny group were told about the officer by borough Inspector Marcus Walton, as an example of how local police were trying to regain the trust of the community.

He told the group that the borough’s 200 officers conduct “something like” 20 searches a day and that the tactic is “not a key part” of the force’s work, although he accepted it is “massively contentious”.

Use of stop and search in the borough reached a peak in May 2020, with 1,500 searches that month, and dropped to less than 500 in September this year, although this figure has begun to climb again.

Inspector Walton said: “We are aware that we need to build confidence [in the police], we’ve had some nasty knocks and wake-up calls from that in recent years.”

Though he acknowledged the borough’s black community are disproportionately likely to be searched, he said many of these were “repeat stops”, adding:  “Sadly we’ve still got a number of gangs that involve young black males.”


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Sergeant Kamran Qureshi told the group the Metropolitan Police are implementing a series of recommendations about stop and search made by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which he summarised as “training, learning, supervising and community engagement”.

As part of that, 98% of all stops are now recorded on body worn video, which are reviewed at random by senior officers who then give feedback on whether improvements can be made.

Eighteen months ago, Inspector Walton said he noticed a pattern of “excess force” in one officer’s stops that he “wasn’t happy with”.

He said: “We sent him to two separate days of training on the interaction of physical restraint, he also carried out number processes with local trainers. 

“Then for next three months all his stops and searches were reviewed by officers. Each time we sat down with him and talked about what we liked and didn’t like.”

The group also heard from Naaman Telfer of Spark 2 Life, who are working to “bridge the gap” between police and young people.

This includes training new Met recruits in “cultural competency”, teaching school students about their rights during stops and being a point of contact for young people to complain informally about police conduct.


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