Met Police Accused Of Missing The Mark With New Action To Support Women's Safety

"This has literally nothing to do with women's safety," one person tweeted.
People on Twitter were furious about the Met's new methods aimed at increasing women's safety
People on Twitter were furious about the Met's new methods aimed at increasing women's safety
Twitter @Jaffav2

The Metropolitan Police posted a video on social media displaying their new tactics to reduce spiking in Shoreditch – but very few people appeared impressed.

Officers were seen conducting drug swabs in the East London district as “part of a wider operation to ensure the night time economy is a safe place for all”, according to the police.

The Met then followed the 31-second clip up with a statement explaining their intentions behind the new practice.

It claims that this tactic was part of a “week of action” supporting women’s safety, filmed between Monday 6 and Sunday 12 December last year.

“The upsurge in activity included safety patrols of the night time economy as well as tackling unlicensed minicabs and attending schools to speak to staff and students,” the statement reads.

“Officers across the Met came together to work in areas which have seen a spike in incidents where women and girls have been made to feel unsafe or have been victims of crime, and we know there is an inextricable link between Class A drugs and serious crime and violence on the streets of London. Shoreditch has been a hotspot for these kinds of offences.”

Police were authorised by the Met’s Licensing Unit to use a drugs itemiser machine, which tests for a presence on a surface that has been swabbed such as the hands.

Using this machine was a condition of entry to certain licensees, although the statement then claims: “It was made clear to those wanting to attend the venues that the swabbing was voluntary.”

The statement also pointed out that refusal to take part did not mean the individual would be searched. It added that even if they tested positive – but there there were no further grounds for search – they could continue with their night. Safeguarding officers were also there to warn about the misuse of drugs.

Fifteen people were searched in total, and “one woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs”.

Spiking became a particular cause for concern in the UK last year, and the Met have already faced extensive backlash for the way it handled the death of Sarah Everard at the hands of one of their officers.

Met chief Dame Cressida Dick even admitted there is “unwitting sexism” in the force back in October.

So when the Met tried to promote this new method, which led to the arrest of just one woman, people were very quick to criticise it.


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