Figures have shown that young black men were stopped and searched by police more than 20,000 times in London during the coronavirus lockdown.
A total of 21,950 searches took place between March and May, with 80% of them resulting in no further action. The total of stop and searches on black males accounted for more than a quarter of all black 15 to 24-year-olds in the capital.
These egregiously high stop-and-search figures equate to 30% of all young black males in London, however some individuals may have been searched more than once. These figures come following the Met's increase usage of stop and search's during the lockdown, after May saw 43,000 stops in the capital, in comparison to last May which saw 21,000.
Speaking on the matter, Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds said: "These figures point to the significant levels of disproportionality we still see in our criminal justice system. That is why it is so important that there are sufficient levels of transparency and accountability with stop and search, including the publication of data, use of body-worn technology, and an effective complaints process for the incident when it is not carried out appropriately. During this crisis it is also vital that the police do not depart from the use of intelligence-led stop and search and continue to work to build trust in communities."
Further research from anti-stop-and-search charity Stopwatch found that around one in eight young black males were stopped and searched over the lockdown period, with 10,000 of them being aged 15 to 25.
The chief executive of Stopwatch, Katrina French, said: "The number is shocking and saddening. How do those young people feel when this is their city, they're going about their daily business, could be caring for parents, all sorts of reasons as to why they're out? I feel saddened for young black boys that we’re in a time, in the 21st century, that your skin colour means you’re more prone to police interference."
These figures have come to light after Cressida Dick, commissioner for the Met police, apologised to GB athlete Bianca Williams after officers stopped, searched and handcuffed her and her partner earlier this month. However, Dick has defended the Met's use of stop-and-search, claiming that black people were eight times more likely to be perpetrators of violent crime. "I'm not alarmed, I'm alert," she said of the recent figures.
You can sign a petition for the stop-and-search procedure to be reviewed right here.