Police told to use stop and search 'surveys'

Suspected criminals who are stopped and searched by police are to be asked to fill in a form rating how well the procedure was performed.

The Metropolitan police is working on a "customer satisfaction" survey to be handed out following a search, a report has revealed.

MPs had expressed fears that Muslims mistakenly believe they are being searched under terrorism legislation while in fact police suspect them of general criminal activity.

In response, the Home Office states: "In order to test this hypothesis members of the Home Office Stop and Search Action Team are currently working with the Metropolitan Police Service to develop a "customer satisfaction" survey for those stopped and searched.

"This survey can be used to identify whether an individual understood the power being used," adds the Government's response to the Home Affairs committee on terrorism and community relations.

The prospect of further form-filling will angermany rank-and-file officers.

A spokeswoman for the Home Secretary yesterday defended the initiative, while admitting that the language used to express it was "unfortunate".

The Home Office has been seeking to calm fears of Asians being targeted since former Home Office minister Hazel Blears said that "counterterrorism powers will be disproportionately experienced by people in the Muslim community".