Senior police leaders met Hackney people to try to “build trust and confidence” among the community in the wake of the Child Q scandal.

Met Commissioner Mark Rowley and Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway took questions from around 40 residents and community groups at the Morningside Community Centre in Cresset Road yesterday (July 19).

DCS Conway said Hackney has often faced the challenge of “over policing and under-protecting black and other minoritised communities”.

He added that conversations with the community have led to changes in how stop and search powers are used, but admitted that “there is much further to go”.

DCS Conway also claimed the force had “learnt important lessons” from the Child Q scandal.

In 2020, a Hackney schoolgirl, referred to as Child Q, was strip-searched by Met police officers at her school after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis.  

The incident prompted protests in the borough after it emerged that she was searched without another adult present.

DCS Conway said: “For too long our communities have been telling us that many parts of the Met need reform and it is clear we have been too slow to respond.

“I believe together we can change to ensure the public we serve trust us to fight crime and keep people safe across Hackney.

“We hold regular ‘Community and Police Conversation’ events in Hackney for local residents to attend to continue to build trust and confidence through conversation.”

He added: “Our recent conversations across the communities of Hackney have made it clear that we need to balance our focus more towards crime and behaviour which make the community feel unsafe, as well as those crimes which we know cause serious harm.”

Hackney councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas and Mayor Philip Glanville also attended the meeting.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced a two year plan, called ‘A New Met for London’, to try to improve public trust in the force.

Officers urged local people to stay up to date by following local police on Twitter -  @MPSHackney