Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Stop And Search Of Black People On The Increase

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 5.

Greenwich Action Committee and the Newham Monitoring Project both report a tripling in the number of complaints of police harassment against black people during July of this year.

Statistically, black people are already 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people but since the July launch of a police operation billed as an initiative to tackle muggings and street theft, harassment has escalated. Police claim that Operation Eagle Eye relies largely on ‘hi-tech’ surveillance methods and intelligence gathering although civil rights groups say that, in reality, this has meant more stop and search targeted mainly at blacks.

Following Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Condon’s comments that most muggers were young black males, and Home Office backing for his statement, the Greenwich Action Committee have called for a London-wide campaign to co-ordinate the statistics on stop and searches since Operation Eagle Eye started.

Meanwhile, residents on the Stonebridge Estate in Harlesden, north London, also report an increase in street searches. “The police are very heavy handed, they make nasty comments, my clients rise to the bait. They would do better if they handled people with more respect,” says Hussein Jemel, a solicitor on the Estate.