Council meetings

Agenda item

The impact of the Prevent Strategy and "Stop and Search" policy on community relations


9.1       Councillors Sophie Davis and Colin Elliott left the room as they had prejudicial interests in this item.


9.2       Katie Wood, Scrutiny Manager introduced the report to the Committee. The following key points were noted during the discussion.


·         The Chair tabled a list of possible themes for recommendations. This will be included in the agenda documentation pack.

·         The Committee agreed a five minute break at 7.55pm until 8pm.

·         The Prevent training attended by Councillor Sheikh on 24 January 2019 should be included in the list of evidence gathering at paragraph 3.4.

·         Paragraph 6.18 of the report should include the addition “perpetuating anti-Islam or Islamaphobic narratives.”

·         In should be made clear that “Disproportionality” in the context of the recommendation listed on the tabled item was referring to disproportionality of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic men and boys.

·         Any referral including reference to the “quality” of the interaction in terms of stop and search should refer to the impact on the young person, on the community in general, and on good community-Police relations.

·         The recommendation tabled regarding the lack of available data on the Prevent strategy should include an additional line stating: “A lack of local data limits our ability to scrutinise locally and assess whether the Prevent strategy affects certain communities disproportionately”.

·         Enabling anonymous feedback from teachers on Prevent could be a possible recommendation. Following discussion on this, committee members agreed that this was not necessary as the forms were already anonymous.

·         A possible recommendation around mirroring the National review into Prevent was put forward. Following discussion on this, it was agreed that once the terms of reference of the national review were agreed the Committee should consider them at a future meeting to decide whether they wish to look into this further. This would be highlighted in the work programme report for the first meeting of Safer Stronger of the next municipal year and specifically request an officer update on the national review.

·         A discussion was held around highlighting the work of KIKit as part of the recommendations. It was agreed that the recommendation would stand but removing the specific reference to any particular organisation. The referral would therefore note that the committee wished to request that the Mayor and Cabinet: “explore the benefits of community based referral pathways that allow issues to be dealt with by trusted individuals with the confidence of the community.” The importance of increased community dialogue should also be referenced.

·         Members of the Committee stressed that the young people from whom they had heard were not against stop and search in principle but were concerned about unfair targeting and young people having very negative experiences of stop and search. There also appeared to be some inherited generational mistrust of the Police. The recommendation around working with young people and the Police should include these details as background and specifically include reference to working in Primary Schools as referenced by some of the young people who gave evidence at different forums to the Committee.

·         The importance of unconscious bias training was stressed and that this should be an on-going part of Police training and delivered to frontline staff and the importance of this as an issue for all Londoners should be stressed. A recommendation should be made that the Mayor write to the Chief Superintendent of the South East Borough Command Unit requesting this.

·         An additional recommendation should be made requesting the Mayor request to the Chief Superintendent of the South East Borough Command Unit (BCU) that Members of Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee be allowed to better understand through the appropriate mechanism, how the unconscious bias training is delivered. 

·         An additional recommendation for more information on the intelligence gathering process for section 60s to ensure there was no in-built bias at the pre-decision stage was discussed. This was agreed by the Committee.

·         A recommendation around increasing preventative work with young people and community groups to avoid section 60’s being enacted was raised. This could be added to the third recommendation on the tabled document. This was agreed by the Committee.

·         A concern was raised regarding the idea of complaints being recorded at the time of the search. The recommendation tabled would be amended to say “Alternative ways to consider complaints needed to be identified.” The recommendation would request the Mayor write to the Chief Superintendent of the South East BCU.

·         An additional recommendation was requested regarding LBL facilitating and supporting young people to make complaints through a third party mechanism.

·         The sixth recommendation on the tabled document should be amended to remove reference to complaints being made “at the time of the search”. The recommendation should request that the Mayor write to the Chief Superintendent of the South East BCU.


9.2       RESOLVED:


That the tabled recommendations as tabled, discussed and amended, be agreed and included in the final report to Mayor and Cabinet.

Supporting documents: