Month: October 2007

Jarrett’s increased ‘Stop and Search’ would be a return to ‘Sus’ laws

The suggestion to stop young people because they are most likely to be “victims of, and the perpetrators of, a lot of these [sic: gun & knife] crimes” would lead to racial profiling and in effect be the ‘the reintroduction of the hated ‘sus’ laws’, say east London anti-racism campaigners Newham Monitoring Project (NMP).

NMP believes the suggestions of Keith Jarrett, president of the National Black Police Association, run the risk of criminalising a new generation of young people and becoming a new focus of resentment.

A spokeperson for NMP today said:

“Black communities continue to experience disproportionate targeting under stop & search causing tension and distrust of the police. Jarrett should be suggesting ways to engage with black communities, rather than alienate them further, to really fight gun and knife crime.

The Lawrence Inquiry found ‘the perception and experience of minority communities that discrimination is a major element in the stop and search problem is correct.’ This led to the introduction of mechanisms for police accountability – through recording and issuing receipts – in order to try and prevent the random stopping of individuals without any justifiable basis, or based merely on appearance. Now under the guise of the ‘fighting gun and knife crime’, the NBPA seems determined to turn back the clock.

Statistics relating to prosecutions from stop and search continually demonstrate it is not an effective tool in tackling crime, particularly compared to intelligence-based policing. There is no evidence that extending these powers will make any positive difference or that the wider public will be any safer.”

Notes to Editors

  1. For more information, contact Estelle at Newham Monitoring Project on 020 8470 8333/ 07709 656 251
  2. NMP is a leading independent anti-racist organisation in east london providing support to people around issues of race-hate crime, police misconduct and civil injustice. Recent work of NMP’s includes being the main organisation supporting the families involved in the Forest Gate Raids and supporting the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.