According to Stop and Search guidelines, police checks should stand up to public scrutiny. Currently they do not and have become a routine part of life for black and minority people in Britain who are targeted for the colour of their skin. This racial profiling and the unnecessary use of force and intimidation on black and minority ethnic groups has eroded trust in the police. It must be urgently reviewed by government. An investigation has been launched into the Metropolitan Police however, stop and searches must be reviewed no matter the outcome.
The use of stop and search was inherently built on racially profiling ethnic minorities. It is a growing problem in the UK today. We have seen the deaths of unarmed black men both in the UK and the US as examples of what happens when police are given and flagrantly abuse their positions of power. The unnecessary use of aggressive force such as restraint through kneeling on a person’s neck, forcibly removing a person from their car and handcuffing them before suspicions have been confirmed, is an act of intimidation and oppression on black and minority ethnic groups. It has caused undue traumatic stress which is affecting the black community in ways which have and will continue to have effects on our futures in Britain.
I have been triggered to act on this issue because I feel that some of us are giving up and have begun to accept this as a norm. It has firmly become an adage in black people’s lives as our parents warn us generation after generation how to behave in front of the police, so we won’t end up harmed or dead. I refuse to pass this down and explain to my future children that they have to prepare themselves to be stopped and searched. None of us should accept that their family members or friends of future children and the youth of this country will go through this. This cannot be accepted as the norm and has to change.
The facts speak for themselves and our government must realise that the system is not working and not only is it a shameful part of Britain’s identity, but it is also waste of police time and taxpayers money. Our well-educated government should be discerning enough to act on this swiftly in the best interests of the country.
Only 5% of stop and searches conducted under Section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act lead to an arrest in April 2018-April 2019
Black people were searched at 11 times the rate of whites, mixed people at just under three times, Asians twice, and Chinese or ‘other’ people just under one and a half times the rate of whites across the Capital.
Of the 9,599 searches conducted in 2018/19, most (4,101) were of black people, followed by 1,678 of whites, 911 of Asians, 392 of mixed people, and 193 of people from Chinese or other backgrounds.
The number of stop and searches is increasing
The government should review their policies and define suspicious behaviour in clear terms and characteristics to build more trust in the police and provide more clarity for the public. Furthermore, the government should determine more clearly and concisely the boundaries in which handcuffing, touching a suspect in any way shape or form and restraint should be used in line with suspicions being confirmed.
Everyone, no matter what race or creed, who cares about democracy and our future should sign and share this petition to make this happen. If you are a person of colour you are directly affected by this as you likely been stopped and searched or you know someone who has, therefore, it important that you share this with you close circle or friends as you and them are probably the most affected by this issue. Hopefully through this, we can get it on the government agenda and effect real change.