London: Asians are reportedly 11 times more likely to be stopped at British airports and ports compared to whites, a new study has revealed.
The analysis by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) suggests that stereotyping rather than intelligence may be a key factor in use of counter-terrorism powers under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 .
According to the Guardian, it was found that a total of 53,992 people were stopped at all British ports and airports in 2012-13 and detailed analysis of nine separate ethnic categories, those with a Pakistani background were shown to have a highly disproportionate number of stops.
Pakistani people were 52 times more likely to be stopped than white people, 135 times more likely to be questioned and examined for more than an hour, and 154 times more likely to be detained.
The EHRC chief executive, Mark Hammond said that schedule 7 was a necessary and useful power in the provision of national security but stopping people based on stereotypes could lead to time and resources being misdirected and have a negative impact on relations with black and ethnic minority groups.
It was also found that blacks were 6.3 times more likely to be stopped and those who were mixed race were 3.6 times more likely to be stopped.
The report added that the home secretary, Theresa May, is proposing to reduce the maximum period of detention from nine hours to six, to introduce new rights for the person detained to consult a solicitor and a ban on intimate searches, among other changes.