Blaming police officers for carrying out stop and search is unfair, a former police chief has said.
Sir Peter Fahy, an ex-chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said criticism over the practice – which is carried out against a higher proportion of black people than white – should be aimed at “failed social policies”.
Nothing was found in the search, which the Met said took place in response to an increase in violence involving weapons in the area.
Williams has said she is considering legal action.
Government figures show that between April 2018 and March 2019, four stop and searches were carried out for every 1,000 white people, compared with 38 for every 1,000 black people.
However, Sir Peter told Good Morning Britain the Met and other forces are under “huge pressure” to tackle youth violence and the drugs market.
Former police chief @peter1fahy says frontline police are under huge pressure to carry out stop and searches.— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 9, 2020
He says it's unfair to criticise frontline officers doing their job when the problems stem from systemic underlying issues like failed social policies. pic.twitter.com/TKsVY713Ou
“It’s really unfair to criticise individual officers on that frontline when we have failed social policies, a failed drugs policy, when young black lads are not getting the same opportunities and Black Lives Matter... is not about police apologising, it’s about radical change which is trying to deal with the underlying issues.
“Frontline police officers are under pressure to use stop and search to try and handle youth violence because there are so many other failed social policies... just fails to address the underlying issue.”
His comments came in the same interview as activist Sayce Holmes-Lewis, who said police needed to apologise for the stop and search.
“It doesn’t take long, you can apologise there on the spot, and the fact is the police need to be more accountable in terms of their actions when stop and searches are carried out in this manner,” Holmes-Lewis, founder of young people’s support group Mentivity, said.
He added that he believed an apology had only come because of the “media frenzy” and public outcry over the video of the incident with Williams.
Met commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Wednesday that the Met was filled with the “most diverse bunch of people you can imagine”.
“My senior officer has said… I’m sorry to Ms Williams for the distress, it has clearly caused her, and I say that, too,” she said.
“So, if there are lessons to be learned from it, we will learn them, and I’m looking at handcuffing as a specific issue.”