New data provided by UK Home Office shows that black people are subject to acute discrimination when it comes to extensive stop and search practices by police.
An analysis of the data by the Guardian newspaper published on Saturday showed that black people were likely to be stopped and searched 40 times more than others by the police in England and Wales last year.
The revelations come more than a month after Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid allowed police to do more stops and searches under a law known as “section 60”. This means that Javid gave the police greater powers while he was aware of the discriminatory impact on the black community and knew that it could negatively impact their trust and lead to more violence on the streets.
Police in UK will be allowed to use stop and search powers extensively amid the surge in knife crime.
The decision to allow vast stop and search practices came in response to a historic rise in the number of stabbings and homicides in the capital London and other large cities in the UK.
Head of police in London claimed during a presser last week that greater stop and search powers had enabled the force to reduce stabbing of under 25s in the city by 15 percent.
Rights campaigners, however, insist that the policy has clearly led to more discrimination against black people as items discovered from them during the checks have not differed very broadly from other ethnicity groups.
“These statistics reveal that race disproportionality in the use of suspicion-less section 60 powers is rising at a staggering rate – statistics the government held when they decided to relax restrictions on when police can use these powers,” said Rosalind Comyn, policy and campaigns officer at the civil rights charity Liberty.
By Africafrique and agencies