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20 May 2004
MET Police's Stop and Search Powers Used Unfairly Against Muslims
Today's Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) report on the 'Metropolitan Police Service Stop and Search Practice' reveals a huge 41% rise in the number of Asians who were stopped by the police in the year 2000/2001 to 2001/2002. This rise was greater than that for any other ethnic group. The figures also revealed that the MPS had an arrest rate of only 4% of those stopped and searched. Regrettably though, no figures were provided for the number of those that went on to be actually charged or convicted of any offence and nor did the figures indicate the religious affiliation of those involved.
"These figures are quite devastating and confirm what we have been hearing anecdotally from the experiences of a worryingly large and ever-increasing number of young Muslim men. As the MPA report acknowledges:
'Stop and Search rates have become one of the most visible indicators of racially biased policing practice in London'.
Just as an entire generation of young black people were alienated through Stop and Search practice, we are deeply worried that the same thing could occur again, this time to young Muslim men," said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The MPA report also admitted that:
'institutional racism - as reflected in the policies, priorities and practices (or lack thereof) of the Metropolitan Police Service - continue to be dominant factors in both permitting and causing disproportionality in stop and search rates.'
"We have been urging Muslims to work in partnership with the police, to help combat a common terror threat facing all of us, but this is made difficult when these very same people or members of their family may well have been stopped and searched just last week, for no justifiable reason" added Mr Sacranie.
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK's representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact Tel: 07956 353 738 or 07939 472 998
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain,
PO Box 57330,
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079