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'Black motorists subjected to unrecorded police stops'

CONCERNS: A pressure group says black drivers are being disproportionately stopped

ACTIVISTS ARE calling for a national boycott of all non-essential contact with the police after research suggested black drivers are being targeted in unrecorded police stops.

Lee Jasper, from Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (Barac), said it was becoming clear that urgent action was needed to address the institutional racism he claims is still endemic in the police force.

The calls come after stop and search monitor, Stopwatch, used British Crime Survey data to show that millions of cars are pulled over by the police every year without being officially recorded.

The figures also reveal that black drivers are significantly more likely to be targeted.

“We estimate that there were approximately 5.5 million vehicle stops in 2010/11, approximately five million of which did not involve a search and therefore were not covered by the recording requirement," a Stopwatch briefing document noted.

Jasper added: “This new information proves once and for all that the Met has consistently lied about the number of stop and searches that take place in London.

“Hundreds of thousands of black people are facing illegal stops and searches by the police - driven by a culture of racial profiling and targets for both stops and arrests.”

He added: “There needs to a national boycott of all non-essential contact with police and all black recruitment into the force, until such time as the police admit that they remain an institutional racist organisation."

Stop and search campaigner Kojo Kyerewaa said he was not surprised by the findings.

He added: “Driving while black is an indignity endured by many in London and across the country. The problem isn't our skin colour but the minds of racist police officers.”

A Met spokesperson told The Voice: "Under section 163, police officers are able to stop vehicles on the road for a wide variety of reasons. These could include suspected no insurance and traffic violations to talking on a mobile phone while driving.

"As officers are not required to record stops, there are no definitive figures available showing the details, (whether age, gender, ethnicity) of those stopped. If officers wish to do a search of a vehicle that is stopped, they would need to do so under one of the existing stop and search powers and this would be recorded in official figures."

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