Black kids five times as likely to be stopped and searched in Croydon, data reveals

A police officer during a stop and search (photo: Victoria/ PA)
A police officer during a stop and search (photo: Victoria/ PA)

Black kids are being targeted at higher rates than white kids in police stop and searches in Croydon.

According to official police data, black children are five times as likely to be stopped and searched in Croydon than white ones.

Over 300 black children have already been searched in 2023.

A black person of any age is three times as likely to be stopped and searched in the area as a white one.

The figures from the Metropolitan Police show that over the past year, almost half of all searches were on black people, while only one quarter of the area is black.

A recent report by the children’s commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, revealed black children in England and Wales are six times more likely to be strip searched by police.

The commissioner said that this is “utterly unacceptable” when compared to national population figures.

She added: “Much more work is required to create a culture among the police in which children are, first and foremost, treated as children.”

77 per cent of stop and searches on both black and white children result in no further action.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Stop and search is rightly scrutinised both within the MPS and externally through our Community Monitoring Groups and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

"We have been showing our body worn video of stops to borough level and London-wide Community Monitoring Groups and scrutiny panels to get feedback and increase understanding.

"Where an individual stop has caused significant community concern we have introduced Police Encounter Panels where community representatives are able to review officers’ body worn footage.

“The Metropolitan Police is most effective when we police with the support of the public, working together to tackle those causing the most harm.

"Used appropriately, stop and search, which includes strip search and more thorough searches, save lives and is an important tactic to keep Londoners safe, helping us to take drugs and dangerous weapons off our streets.

"Each month the Met seizes around 400 weapons through stop and search alone.”

Last year 14-year-old Croydon schoolboy De-Shaun Joseph made headlines after being handcuffed and stopped and searched on his way home from school in a case of mistaken identity.

His mother, Janet Joseph, told ITV News: “Too many children, nameless and faceless, have been abused by the system”.

The De-Shaun Joseph Justice Bill, which she started to lobby parliament to “protect” children from being “adultified and dehumanised” by police now has 3,543 signatures.

Croydon has one of the highest volumes of stop and searches of all London boroughs.

The Met spokesperson added: “We recognise that stop and search can be problematic for individuals and communities, particularly when we get things wrong.

"When this happens we risk losing the trust, confidence and co-operation of Londoners.

"Those risks are higher in communities where stop and search powers are used most often, generally where violent crime, driven by a small minority, is highest.

"We want the public to have faith that we will do all we can to keep them safe, while still being sensitive to the needs of our communities.”