We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

MOPAC has seen 'noticeable change' in Met’s data transparency

The comments were made at a London Assembly Police and Crime Panel meeting following an announcement of a new oversight board for the Met

There has been a noticeable change in the Met’s approach to data access and data sharing over the last four to five months, MOPAC has said.

Speaking at the London Assembly, MOPAC’s  Director of Strategy & MPS Oversight, Kenny Bowie, pointed to data dashboards that are already published on strip searches as well as ongoing work between the organisations for dashboards on complaints and misconduct.

Mr Bowie took over the Evidence and Insights team last February.

His comments followed an anecdote from the Chair of the panel, Caroline Russell, who submitted a Mayor's question last July about the locations of strip searches of children. 

She received the answer this week but said that even after 10 months, the Met were unable to provide the exact location for even one fifth of the searches that took place – and the number of children recorded as having been strip searched in 2021 was revised upwards from 99 to 271.

“The data hadn’t been recorded properly,” she said.

“That led to 72 hours of officer time spent extracting an answer and almost a year of delay.

“The Commissioner told me he felt the power of strip search had been overused and misused.

"Each one of those searches represents a child traumatised by a very invasive interaction with the Met."

“If the data is recorded properly the Met can see how much they’re using [such a] power.”

The Met has said the error resulted from how an analyst interpreted the data provided by a newly introduced reporting system for recording MTIP searches. The anomaly has now been recognised. 

The use of strip search is now down by around 64%.

The Met added: "We have made a number of improvements to the way we approach stop and search and, in particular, More Thorough Searches in recent years. More Thorough Searches that expose Intimate Parts (MTIP) form 1.3% of all searches and MPS recognises that it is the most intrusive tactic involved in stop and search and of concern to our communities. Criminality is detected in 53% of MTIP searches and that figures rises to 60% for under 18s.

"We have ensured our officers and staff have a refreshed understanding of the policy for conducting a ‘further search’, particularly around the requirement for an appropriate adult to be present."

Mr Bowie responded to Caroline Russell's query: “The data systems do need to be improved, Connect is going to bring several systems into one, at the moment it’s too easy for officers not to complete a field [of data]. 

"[This sort of technology, a drop-down function, came in ages ago] - that's all it needs.

“I was pretty horrified when I saw the answer [to your question]. I did say we need to go back and make sure there's a drop down or something which requires them to record that sort of stuff [location].

"Data quality is an issue across the board in policing.

"There does need to be a two-pronged approach to it- one where people understand why data quality is genuinely important but two it's practical steps like drop downs and not being able to move on before certain fields are completed." 

MOPAC's Chief Executive Diana Luchford added: “The Met outsoured lots of its transactional functions as a result of austerity and the decision to prioritise officers at the time of the BCU structures.

"That took a lot of analytical resource out of BCUs – and one of the areas MOPAC has been encouraging the Met to bring more external expertise in – analysts are one of the cohorts of people they need to bring more expertise on."

She later emphasised that they have seen some “strides” on data sharing and that MOPAC now has only three long term data requests that are outstanding.

Meanwhile, MOPAC was also asked about changes they are making in their role to hold the Met to account.

Last week, for the first time, they came together with the IOPC, the College and HMICFRS with intentions for future meetings "to make sure we harnessing all the knowledge collectively from the oversight bodies."

The work is described as being in early stages 

Leave a Comment
View Comments 1
In Other News
Deployment of live facial recognition not a 'fishing exercise'
New DNA database will provide 'stronger evidence' for RASSO cases
Fed airs WhatsApp warning as Met issues 29,000 new smartphones
More News