Lambeth residents have the least trust in the Metropolitan Police compared to other London boroughs, a new study by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crimes (MOPAC) shows.
Confidence that people are treated fairly by the police sits at less than 50% in Lambeth.
This new data follows Baroness Louise Casey’s review released in March which found the Met Police to be racist, misogynistic and homophobic. Following this report, the Met’s Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he was “determined” to restore public trust but refused to accept the force’s problems were “institutional”, saying the word had become politicised and was ambiguous.
A total of 71% of Londoners taking part in the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) survey said they trusted police, compared to 60% in Lambeth. Just under half of Lambeth respondents agreed the Met listened to their concerns, at 47%, which was the second-lowest borough behind Lewisham. A total of 49% of Lambeth respondents believed the police treated everyone “fairly”.
The data was collected between January and March, meaning most of the survey was conducted before the publication of the Casey review. Despite having the lowest score in the capital, trust in Lambeth has actually increased 7% from its lowest-ever point in September, the same month Chris Kaba, a 24-year-old unarmed black man, was shot dead by police. The police watchdog has referred Kaba’s shooting to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider criminal charges. The policeman who fired the fatal shot has been suspended.
The data also revealed that half of black Londoners feel the police do a good job and 56% believe the Met treats everyone fairly, with the figure falling to 47% for those of mixed ethnicities.
Why is trust so low?
Stop and search powers are perceived to be a key barrier in the relationship between police and the black community. The sister of Sean Rigg, a musician who died in police custody in 2008 in Brixton, believes very little has changed since her brother’s death. The Met has “to right the wrongs, to show they have actually changed”, she said. “We have unlimited reviews and reports. Nothing physically has changed, we are still disproportionally affected by stop and search.”
“They deny institutional racism, but it is evident it is still there.” She added.
Lee Jasper, who was a senior policy adviser on equalities to former London mayor Ken Livingstone, argues that the removal of liaison officers has made communication more difficult between police and the communities. “Lambeth is the worst borough for racist policing in the capital,” he claimed. “There is institutionalised racism in the Met, it is deeply entrenched, they employ racists. It needs complete reorganisation from the ground up”.
The lack of trust between Lambeth residents and the metropolitan police is not a surprise. The black communities within the area have been continuously let down by the police due to racial bias. Trauma cast on the black communities, both historical and more recent, have also not been addressed appropriately.