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‘The use of stop and search is racist,’ says ex police chief

COMMENTS: Brian Paddick

A FORMER police chief has branded the controversial stop and search powers as ‘racist.’

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, Brian Paddick, who is the Liberal Democrats candidate for London Mayor, said that he took issue with the disproportionate numbers of black people being stopped and searched in the capital.

The former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, said: “Statistics show that police are wrongly focusing stop and search on black people and Asian people.”

He added: “The use of stop and search in London is racist.”

Current figures show that an African-Caribbean person is up to 27 times more likely to be stooped by police than a white person.

He warned that the controversial power, which allows police to stop and search people without suspicion, must be changed to prevent disengagement between the police and the black community.

He said: “If you stop someone three times in a day by the fourth time they would not be thrilled and they might not want to speak to the police again.”

Paddick, who served as a police officer for 30 years, added: “Little has changed since the 1981 Brixton Uprising and I am determined to reform its use to ensure young black men are not stereotyped as criminals.

CONTROVERSIAL: Stop and search

He continued: “Stop and search has to be accurately targeted on people who keep being convicted of crimes and those who accurately fit the description of someone who has just committed a crime.

‘Young black man with a hooded top,’ just isn’t accurate enough. When the police start treating our young people with dignity and respect, we will start telling the police who is carrying the knife and the gun and they can target stop and search on those who threatened our lives,” he said.

The Police veteran has revealed plans to change the use of stop and search if he is elected as London Mayor on May 3.

He proposed to “appoint a well-known member of the black community as my lead advisor on Race and Policing.”

He also pledged to “host a crime summit and will be inviting a key community leaders from around London to decide what the police need to do to convince us that they are on our side.

Paddick said: “The Mayor of London is now the Police and Crime Commissioner for London, the one man who controls the police in London. For once, you'll have a Mayor who really knows what they talking about on the issue of crime and policing and not someone who’s good at political sound bites.”

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