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The Prime Minister must abolish suspicion-less stop and search powers

June 14, 2020 9:24 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Black Lives Matter protests have demonstrated the urgent need to tackle racial injustice and address the pain and harm these injustices cause.

A Black person is 47 times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person.

We are urging the Prime Minister to look again at some of the harmful policies his Government is pursuing. One of these is his expansion of Stop and Search powers.

Black people are disproportionately likely to be stopped and searched by the police, and for suspicion-less stop and search the figures are particularly stark.

Under suspicion-less Stop and Search powers, a Black person is 47 times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person.

On too many occasions stop and search seems to mean being black is enough to suspect someone of being a criminal.

The Conservative Government is increasing the use of suspicion-less Stop and Search dramatically. Home Office figures show that the number of Section 60 searches has risen from 631 in 2016-17 to 13,175 in 2018-19 - a 20-fold increase in just two years.

On too many occasions stop and search seems to mean being black is enough to suspect someone of being a criminal.

Suspicion-less Stop and Search is also unnecessary. Without it, police would still have the power to stop and search people for weapons if they have reasonable suspicion. Stop and Search powers can be used fairly and effectively if they are focused on people who commit crime.

Boris Johnson must abolish suspicion-less Stop and Search powers and end the pain and injustice they wreak on so many people from Britain's black and minority communities.