Chuka Umunna
Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP has called for Scotland Yard’s pilot police camera scheme to be expanded across London.Reuters

Labour MP Chuka Umunna has called on the Metropolitan Police to film stop and search operations in London, amid longstanding allegations of racial profiling of ethnic minorities.

Umunna, who is shadow business secretary and MP for Streatham, said body-mounted cameras used to film police encounters would increase public confidence and help improve the 'historically poor' relations between the police and members of the black community.

Filming stop and searches would also allow officers who fail to carry out their duties properly to be identified and investigated, Umunna said.

He called for a pilot scheme launched by Scotland Yard earlier this year, in which officers in 10 boroughs wore cameras on duty, to be expanded first to Lambeth and then to the rest of London.

"The Met should record every stop and search in Lambeth, both because it will help increase trust in the police and because it will help ensure the police are accountable should they fall short of that trust," he told The Evening Standard.

"Because of our history, Lambeth should be the priority, but eventually I would like to see every stop and search in London filmed. We have come a long way from the dark days of the 1980s, but much more still needs to be done."

A report released last year by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that black and Asian people are still far more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by police in England and Wales.

Black people were found to be six times as likely as white people to be stopped and searched and in some areas, and 29 times as likely to be stopped compared to their white counterparts.

According to official figures, more than 1,000 children under the age of 10 – and some as young as four – have been stopped and searched by police in England and Wales over the past five years.

The data, which was released by 22 police forces to an all-party parliamentary inquiry, reveals that more than one million stop and searches were carried out on children under the age of 18 between 2009 and 2013.

Lady Massey of Darwen, who chairs the parliamentary group, said many of the children stopped were likely to be in need of care and could have been escaping sexual or gang violence.

MPs and peers recommended that police should always record the date of birth of people being searched and should have separate custody areas for children and young people.