A Lambeth councillor says stop and search has a “history of misuse,” after a think-tank called for stop and search to be increased across the UK amid rising crime levels.

The Centre for Social Justice, chaired by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, has released a report which calls for a zero-tolerance approach to stop violence and gang-related offending.

Lambeth has the highest volume of stop and search in London, with 23,410 instances of stop and search taking place between July 2016 to July 2018.

More than half, 56.7 per cent, of the instances related to drugs, and 24.9 per cent related to weapons.

Official figures released last year showed people classed as black British were eight times more likely to be stopped than white people, while those from all minority ethnic communities were four times more likely to be stopped than white people.

But the report encouraged a greater scepticism about claims of racial disparity over those stopped and searched.

Lambeth is an ethnically diverse borough, where 24 per cent of the population are black.

Of the 24 per cent, 11 per cent are black African.

Three in five residents describe their ethnicity as other than white British.

But Cllr Mo Seedat, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said the policing method had scope to be used incorrectly.

“Stop and Search can be a blunt instrument with a history of misuse,” he explained.

“Lambeth Police’s use of Stop and Search has decreased over the past two years due to better intelligence-led operations and significant trust building in our community over the past four years.

“Whilst strong enforcement is warranted, it is my view that neighbourhood consent-based policing is the best of keeping our communities safe,” he said.