Stop and search reduced by a third, says Met's Hogan-Howe

BBC Newsnight has learned that the home secretary wrote to cabinet colleagues in early December seeking approval for changes to the police's controversial stop and search powers in England and Wales.

However, the changes have been held up by "regressive" attitudes in Downing Street, senior Conservatives told the programme.

Downing Street said David Cameron accepted reforms were needed, but officials have refused to say when any decisions might be taken.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, told Newsnight's Kirsty Wark that significant reforms were already being implemented on the ground.