UK`s Met Police accused of `excessive` stops and searches
London: Britain’s Metropolitan police were responsible for 120,000 ``excessive`` stops against people from ethnic minorities in 2008-09, according to the official equalities watchdog.
The Metropolitan Police force has been identified as the biggest offender and placed under the most pressure by the report.
According to the report, the Met carries out 71 stops for every 1,000 people, but the West Midlands force, policing areas with similar issues, carries out just 13 stops per 1,000.
Broken down by race, in one year the Met stopped 195 per 1,000 Afro-Caribbean people, and 78 per 1,000 Asian people. The figure for white people is 49.
A report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission expected to be released later this month, has now threatened to brand as racist, police forces which are deemed to have used stop and search powers excessively against people from ethnic minorities, the Guardian has learned.
Police forces will be told they face enforcement action unless they give meaningful promises to change.
It presents a prima facie case that the police are still failing in their duties under racial equality laws and finds that an officer’s power to stop and search, based on having a reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminality, is disproportionately used against Afro-Caribbean and Asian Britons.
For some forces the "disproportionality" is more than 10 times.
The report presses the police to defend themselves against the allegation they are breaking the law by highlighting the fact that some forces use the power considerably more than other forces policing the same types of area.
A draft of the report concludes: "The evidence points to racial discrimination being a significant reason why black and Asian people are more likely to be stop and searched than white people. It implies that stop and search powers are being used in a discriminatory and unlawful way."
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