Met chief ‘proud’ of Olympic policing on visit to Stratford

Metropolitan police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe was in Stratford last week to talk about Olympic policing and stop and search.

Appearing as part of Newham Council’s Ideas Olympiad series at the Picturehouse on Tuesday, the Metropolitan police commissioner made a half hour speech about his Total Policing initiative before taking questions from an audience of around 150 people.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: “My job is to be accountable to 8.1 million people and it’s very hard to get out and meet everyone and address all of their concerns.

“But I believe people benefit when they can look you in the eyes and judge you by the sincerity of your answers.”

Speaking about the challenge of policing in London during the Olympic Games, Mr Hogan-Howe said: “I am really proud of our ability to keep it safe.

“This is a great time for Newham, it’s a borough of great ambitions and a great area and the people who live here deserve the best.

“The aim for us was to be able to police as well as we normally do and to attend to all the concerns and incidents required of us during that time.

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“We did manage to do that and it should be something that we are proud of.”

The Newham Monitoring Project aired their concerns about stop and search and Mr Hogan-Howe spoke of his wish to retrain his officers to reduce Section 60 searches in favour of Section 44 random searches which have been shown to produce better results.

Mr Hogan-Howe noted one of the greatest challenges ahead was making a �500 million saving in the force’s budget of �3.6 billion without compromising the quality of service to Londoners.

He also thinks convincing universities to include a faculty of research for policing is a future possibilty as the Met would benefit from ‘academic rigour’.

On the conclusion of the policing operation for the Olympic Games, Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, National Olympic Security Coordinator, said: “We were able to show the police service at its absolute best, officers enjoying their interactions with the public while still working hard to keep everyone safe.

“I’ve seen first hand the response to our officers, not just in the Olympic Park but across London, and we have been touched by the public’s warm response.”