Gavin Hales Profile picture
Independent researcher & commentator on #policing, #crime & #criminaljustice. Senior Associate Fellow @the_police_fdn. Own views. DMs open.
10 Jul
I recently suggested the high rate of #stopsearch by the MPS (and population demographics) skews national disproportionality rate calculations. In this thread I'll post some numbers.

I thought it would be interesting to look at how London/the MPS compares to the rest of England and Wales combined.

I've looked at the #stopsearch rate per 1,000 for black and white people only (to simplify the analysis) for 2018/19. I've removed BTP & City of London due to the impossibility/difficulty to calc rates.

I'm using the data posted at (8) on this page:…

Read 8 tweets
9 Jul
I've been thinking more about #stopsearch disproportionality. Thought I'd have a look at Lambeth, which is a borough with v high volumes of SS and lots of youth violence type issues.

The MPS #stopsearch dashboard shows SS during Jul19-Jun20 (total n=15,908) focused on males (93%), black subjects (61%), 15-24 yr olds (49%). Peak rate for 15-19 yr olds (309 per 1,000).

Using the @LDN_data GLA 'Ethnic group projections (2016-based housing-led)' I looked at the estimated borough population structure, by gender, age and ethnicity, in 2019.…

Read 14 tweets
7 Jul
Perhaps some context to complaints re #stopsearch in London: there has been a massive increase in volumes over the last 2yrs.

The result: falling arrest (and positive outcome) rates, down from 18.2% (30.7%) in Jul 18 to 9.1% (19.8%) in May 20.…

There is an inverse relationship between volumes and arrest/positive outcome rates. As volumes of #stopsearch increase, numbers of 'false positives' increase faster = more potential for complaints (all else being equal) and more risks to legitimacy.

A key way the reduction in #stopsearch in London was achieved after 2011 was through a focus on the strength of grounds (how 'reasonable' were they) and arrest rates. A 20% arrest rate target was introduced and SS fell until it was reached.

Read 9 tweets
31 Jan
Right, I've been crunching the numbers to look at the relationship between #policeworkforce changes in police officer numbers and the likely allocation of the #20kuplift.

Strap yourselves in, it's very interesting and may get bumpy.


First to say that I've used the allocation of the first 6k of the 20kuplift, which uses the existing #fundingformula, to determine how many cops of the 20k each force may get. Details in the attachment to this written statement.…

I've then used the Mar 2019 #policeworkforce statistics to look at changes between 2010 and 2019.

NB: I am using the 31 Mar 2019 numbers as a proxy for the #20kuplift baseline b/c that's all we've got now. In reality the baseline nos will be different

Read 11 tweets
20 Sep 19
I missed this GLA slide pack when it was published in July.

'A Public Health Approach to Serious Youth Violence: Supporting Evidence'

Sigh. I found it pretty frustrating.

Lots of data confirming the association with a range of indicators of disadvantage.

OK, useful.

What's missing?

Longitudinal analysis, qualitative insights and a narrative.

A basic question: why did serious youth violence get worse between 2012/13 and 2017/18?


Read 7 tweets
3 May 19
I gave a brief (via Skype) presentation on #knifecrime yesterday to a meeting at @UAL - thought I'd post the slides here in case anyone is interested.

A brief overview of evidence on use/carrying, trends, and then a series of 7 hypotheses about why the increase.

A thread.

First some headlines re motivation and risks for carrying & use. Main sources @iainbrennan's excellent paper… and the v good recent @CollegeofPolice briefing by Abigail McNeill and @levinwheller… #knifecrime

To illustrate the trend in recent years I opted first for health rather than crime data. NHS data taken from the spreadsheet published to accompany this @commonslibrary #knifecrime briefing published last Nov.…

Read 18 tweets
5 Nov 18
Being back in S/SE London last week, esp the v diverse (and rel high crime) area I lived in 2010-17, reminded me of an observation I think is relevant to debates about disproportionality re #stopsearch: you just don't see many white teenagers out and about there.

By contrast, loads of white younger (eg pre/primary age) children, including in local schools which are all (though varyingly) v racially mixed.

So where are the white teens? I've some thoughts/hypotheses, and hope to explore whether empirical evidence bears them out.

First, to say that although the area is racially and economically quite mixed - lots of local authority owned terraced housing mixed in with owner occupiers/private renters; large post-war estates, some rebuilt - my impression is that it's also quite socially segregated.

Read 18 tweets
20 Sep 18
1. I've had a chance to read the new @StopWatchUK report by @PatrickWillia17 on the MPS #gangsmatrix. Some early reflections here, hope to write something more considered in due course.

Key Q for me: if the matrix was scrapped tomorrow, what would actually change?

2. I'll start by saying I think it is appropriate for police and other agencies to have a particular focus on gang/group violence, as long as it is only one lens through which violence is understood and addressed.
3. Key point for me: the significance of gang/group dynamics as risk mulitipliers, eg collective responsibility and revenge. Maybe the ‘gang’ label detracts from what are broader phenomena (especially in respect of 'associates')? #gangsmatrix
Read 33 tweets
27 Oct 17
Arrests down, blame the police?

Thread. 1/
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales crime is down a lot; police recorded crime has been rising in recent years.

We know police recorded is up partly due to more reported crimes being recorded by forces, esp less serious

Read 14 tweets