- 2010 National Black Members' Conference
- 7 August 2009
It has been reported in the media (BBC London News 6.6.09) that the Metropolitan Police Service in 2008 had stopped 170,000 people which led to only 65 arrests under the Government’s stop and Search Act. This statement if true is disgraceful and needs to be placed in some sort of context.
UNISON has long been a champion of equality in the trade union movement and has been successful in fighting discrimination and employment cases; however figures showed more than 60% of those stopped were white which is about the same as the proportion of white people in London.
The “sus” laws of the 70s were abolished following the race riots in St Pauls, Bristol in 1980 and in Brixton, London and Toxteth, Liverpool in 1981 because of its alleged abuse following Lord Searman’s inquiry into the Brixton riots. This law caused much discontent among certain sections of the population particularly the Black communities, who felt targeted by the overuse of this law. The MacPherson report described the Police as ‘institutionally racist’ in the light of the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and today we hear this startling statistic.
More recently the media (metro.co.uk 17.6.09) reported that the police were encouraged to stop white people in order to provide ‘racial balance’. Lord Carlile (a Terror Law Watchdog) condemned the strategy saying “it is totally wrong for any person to be stopped in order to produce a racial balance in the statistics”.
·What is the truth behind these figures?
·Have the majority of stops involving members of the Black community become disproportionate?
·Are these stop and searches a contributory factor in why recent reports have highlighted that a disproportionate over representation of Black male information and DNA being held on the Police National Computer data base?
·How can the police justify using Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 within the community on the public of whom some maybe UNISON members?
Conference calls upon the NBMC to:
1.Work with the NEC to supply the figures of all the Community Impact Assessment (CIA) from Scotland Yard or the Home Office via the freedom of information request in order for UNISON to analyse the numbers;
2.Call upon the Labour Link to campaign within the Labour Party and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to get real equality for all our members and their families;
3.Call upon the Labour Link to arrange a lobby of the Government and sponsored MPs to raise these issues and the impact this has on the Black Community.