London mayoral race 2021: Lib Dems pledge to reform stop and search

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image copyrightLiberal Democrats
image captionLuisa Porritt said she would ban the use of Section 60 orders in London

The Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor of London has pledged to end "suspicion-less stop and search" in the capital if elected.

In her party's manifesto, published earlier, Luisa Porritt said she would end the use of Section 60 orders.

These allow police to stop and search anyone in a set area for a short period of time, often following a violent incident.

The election for mayor of London will take place on 6 May.

Ms Porritt called Section 60 orders "fundamentally illiberal".

She said: "The evidence shows it's largely ineffective too. Nobody should be stopped and searched unless genuinely suspected of a crime."


What's happening: On 6 May people will vote to elect a mayor as well as 25 members of the London Assembly. Together, they make up the Greater London Authority (GLA), which governs the capital - you can register to vote here.

What difference does it make? The mayor has a £19bn budget and is responsible for Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, and has a role in housing, planning and the environment. The London Assembly holds the mayor to account by examining their policies. Find out more here.

Who is standing? London's current mayor, Labour's Sadiq Khan, is seeking re-election and his main challenger is Conservative Shaun Bailey, but there are 18 others running.

In their manifesto, the Liberal Democrats said London's police were "held back from building trust with certain communities because of some of the culture and practices of the Metropolitan Police".

Met Police figures show over the past 12 months a black person is nearly four times more likely to be stopped and searched by officers than a white person in London.

Under Section 60 a black Londoner "is almost 50 times more likely to be stopped than a white Londoner", the Liberal Democrats said.

Most instances of stop and search require "reasonable grounds" for suspicion, but Section 60s do not.

image copyrightPA
image captionSection 60 orders make up around 3% of all stop and searches incidents nationally

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative party candidates for mayor, said: "At a time when Londoners are concerned about record levels of knife crime, the Liberal Democrat candidate wants to make it harder for police to do their jobs.

"This is the same problem we've seen under Sadiq Khan. Police officers look to City Hall for political support - but all they get is blame when things go wrong."

The Liberal Democrats also promised to replace London's Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emissions Zone fees with a "pay-as-you" scheme, charging per mile travelled.

The party is pledging to introduce a "flexible travel card" to support increased working from home following the pandemic.

You can find a list of all the candidates who have said they will be running for London's mayor here.

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