REVEALED: Black people four times more likely to have police use force against them
According to a Met Police data set, force was used 62,000 times in 2017-18, and more than a third of incidents involved black people.
The data shows that a black person in London is four times more likely than a white person to have force used against them, as a proportion of the population. London’s black population at the last census in 2011 was 1,088,447. In 2017-18, the Met used force 22,989 times against black people.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the “disproportionate use of force is discriminatory.”
“This is not a recipe for good police-community relations. The government should step in and demand that all forces publish this data. But, then it quickly needs an action plan to end it.”
Police forces in Britain have been required to keep a detailed record of each time an officer used force since April 1, 2017. Government reforms in 2017 meant police across England and Wales now record the reason force was used and details about the person involved.
The news that the Metropolitan Police are more likely to rough up black people is unlikely to surprise the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in southeast London in 1993. He was 18 years old when he was killed.
Speaking last week, Doreen Lawrence said some officers “still don’t get it,” and those out on the beat have “no relation” to the community they are meant to be protecting. “I think there’s elements still there because they still don’t understand – they still don’t get it – that you cannot treat people like that.”
The Macpherson Report, following an inquiry into Lawrence’s death, concluded the police made mistakes and were guilty of institutional racism. The 18-year-old’s murder is considered a watershed moment for modern race relations in the UK.
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