Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Police should stop more black people shocker!

"Police: stop more black suspects" is the headline for a front page article in today's Observer.

The Policeman making the plea is not known to have any links to the Klu Klux Klan, the BNP or any "white supremacist" movement, though some argue that he heads a racist organisation which excludes members of specific racial groups, namely the Black Police officers Association. He is Keith Jarrett.

It looks and sounds a lot more controversial than it is.

The fact is that there is a disproportionate amount of crime committed against "ethnic minorities" and that needs a solution. These crimes are also disproportionately committed by "ethnic minorities" so it does make sense for police to stop and search them more. However the most interesting line in the whole article is this:
Controversially, Jarrett said he would not oppose a random use of stop-and-search when officers had 'reasonable suspicion' an offence had been committed. He argued that, as long as officers used the powers courteously and responsibly, many within the black community would accept it as a necessary evil.
The thing which most grates anyone is lack of courtesy and makes the relationship of the police that much harder. In general the police are polite, largely because they know the people on their patch. That is good. However there is nothing quite so likely to "rile" people as the police jumping on easy technical offences whilst ignoring ones that effect people a lot more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The key is 'reasonable suspicion'. The simple fact-- assumed to be true for the sake of argument-- that more crime is committed by a minority group is not enough to justify stopping a person of that group. A person is not his or her minority. Treating people as if they are is a big insult to human dignity.