Stop and Search is a Discriminatory Practice against the Black Communities

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2014 National Black Members' Conference
1 October 2013

Conference, the 1999 McPherson report uncovered deep rooted institutional racism within the Metropolitan Police Force. In the aftermath of this report the police were forced to review stop and search practices, as these were a very obvious manifestation of police prejudice.

However, recent years have seen police forces return to their old ways. The figures show that there has been a 38 per cent increase in searches involving Black People, compared with 17 per cent for white people. Furthermore, in the past two years the number of Asian people stopped by the police, often under the powers granted by the 2000 Terrorism Act has increased by some 300 per cent.

Conference, recent research carried out by the Runnymede Trust has shown that stop and search is not effective in reducing crime, and that it creates a negative impact on public confidence in the police. As a result of the increase in searches which have fallen disproportionately on Black people the Home Secretary, Teresa May has called for a consultation with the police and other various groups on the use of stop and search and wants to know whether stop and search is being used appropriately and fairly, and how it can be better targeted and more intelligence-led.

However, we believe that the government would do better to re-examine the whole principal of stop and search and think hard about if the police are capable of using these powers responsibly in a manner that does not damage the relationship with Black communities.

Furthermore, research has shown that when Black people have been stopped over 78% of those stopped have not been told of their rights by the police nor have any awareness of their rights.

Conference, therefore we call upon the NBMC and NEC to:

1)Work with relevant organisations to explore the impact of disproportionate levels of stop and search on Black people and to report findings back to the National Black Members Conference 2015

2)Issue guidance to branches to support members to know their rights in relation to stop and search

3)Participate in consultations that seek to review the use and efficiency of police stop and search powers.