The chief of police in the British capital city has admitted that police officers in London are “reluctant” to use “stop and search” anti-crime measures — because they will be accused of being racist, as nonwhites commit so much crime.
According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, police are “afraid of racism complaints if they use stop and search powers [to] tackle burgeoning knife crime,” Cressida Dick, the head of Scotland Yard has said.
Knife and gun crime in London—and other British cities—is almost exclusively nonwhite in origin, to the point where police forces had had to establish specialist units to try and deal with it.Stay Connected With Us
Dick said the stop and search powers “were a valuable tool to fight a rise in stabbings and knife-point crime” and she was determined to encourage officers to use them properly on the streets.
But she said, “accusations of police racism for disproportionately focusing on young black men had meant some officers had lost confidence in using the powers.”
Official figures released last month showed knife crime nationwide had jumped by a fifth in the past year, up to 34,703 incidents and the highest level for seven years.
There was a particular increase in knife-point robberies, while rapes or sexual assaults carried out at knifepoint also rose.
The Metropolitan police commissioner told the BBC: “We have had probably a 20 per cent increase in the last year and that is not acceptable to me, so I am encouraging my officers to do stop and search as one of many things that will help to bring this number down.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May curbed the use of the powers when she was Home Secretary “because of fears it was undermining relations between the police and ethnic minorities” and as result, the number of stops and searches has fallen by around 60 per cent in the past five years.
She said: “The perception might be that we stop lots and lots of, for example, young black men and we don’t find anything. We do. I’m sorry to say, we find the same rate among the people of colour and the people not of colour that we stop.”
In other words, police are merely stopping those most likely to have criminal intent, no matter what their race—and the simple fact that nonwhites commit more crimes than whites, means that pro-rata, more nonwhites than whites will be stopped and searched.
An article in the London Evening Standard from May 2017 revealed that in just 16 days some 11 stabbing deaths had occurred in that city, and that it had become a “scourge.”
DCS Gallagher, the head of the “Operation Sceptre” knife crime task force, spoke to the Standard after a two week spate of knife murders amid a 24 per cent rise in knife offences in London.
Among the recent killings was the death of 17-year-old Mohammed Hasan, killed by masked youths as he cycled home from a party in Battersea and Elijah Dornelly, 17, stabbed to death after attending an anti-knife crime rally.
He said officers had seized a record 300 knives in seven days of action against knife crime in one week alone.
The task force focusses on eight “hotspot knife crime boroughs,” he added, naming them as Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Brent, Croydon, Waltham Forest and Newham—all areas with the largest balck populations in the city.
DCS Gallagher told the Evening Standard that there “is a need for more black role models in society, in particular in politics and policing.”