Well, not that it went away in the first place.
David Cameron yesterday justified his plans for much wider use of police stop and search powers, arguing that concerns he was reintroducing a 1980s-style “sus” law were misplaced because the police were no longer so racist.
Official statistics show that young black and British Asian people are still six times more likely to be stopped by the police than white people.
The Conservatives’ pledge yesterday to scrap the forms used in every “stop and account” revived memories of “sus” laws under which police needed only an officer’s suspicion of illegal intent to stop and search someone. The widespread use of the laws to deal with street crime notoriously sparked the 1981 Brixton riots. [theguardian]
I think there is an argument to be made in favour of increased stop and search to tackle knife and gun crime, but this is still looking at the symptom (crime) than cause (deprivation). Plus, overwhelmingly white officers are being asked to be suspicious of black kids supposedly carrying knives and brown kids carrying bombs. I’m not sure that some element of racism can be avoided when you’re in that context.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Race politics