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Met 'more likely to use force' against black people

POLICE FORCE: Diane Abbott has described the statistics as discriminatory

NEW STATISTICS have revealed that Metropolitan Police officers used force 62,000 times in 2017-18, with more than one third of incidents involving black people.

A Met spokesperson said: "The proportionate use of force is essential in some circumstances to protect the public and often themselves from violence."

However, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott argues "disproportionate use of force is discriminatory".

Since April 1 2017, police forces in Britain have had to record each time an officer has used force.

According to the latest figures, a black person in London is four times more likely to have force used against them by a Met police officer than a white person.

In November last year, 15-year-old Terrell Jones-Burton was hospitalised after the Met detained him.

He suffered a split lip, broken jawbone, bruising on the brain, abdominal pain and lost teeth as a result of the incident. Witnesses at the seen reported that Jones-Burton was left “out cold” on the pavement.

Jones-Burton’s mother, Shereen Jones said that the police used excessive force when they accused him of stealing a mobile phone in southeast London.

She said: "It was horrific. I thought I had lost him. Why should I feel like, because I'm a particular colour, I'm going to be a target, like we have a mark on our head? It's disgusting."

The case is currently being looking into by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

At the last census, London’s black population was 1,088,447. In 2017-18 the Met used force 22,989 times against black people.
Abbott said: "These figures are truly shocking. The disproportionate use of force is clearly 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."

A spokesman for the Met said: "By collating this data in one place it will allow us to increase transparency, public confidence and improve police training.

“Officers have to, and have always had to, account for all uses of force, which must be proportionate, lawful and only used when necessary."

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