Today Jenny Jones, one of the two Green party members of the London Assembly, is quoted by the BBC as saying:
Stop and search already disproportionately targets young people from ethnic minority communities and this aggressive approach has, in the past, had the long-term effect of alienating the young people it is seeking to protect, as well as having a damaging effect on community relations in London.
She added that she will raise her concerns at the next Metropolitan Police Authority meeting on 29th May and will ask for a report into the potential long-term consequences of reducing the safeguards in the stop and search process.
Her comments are in response to Tuesday’s announcement that the Met will use their powers under section 60 of the Public Order Act to stop and search people without the need for reasonable suspicion.
By contrast the new mayor has said:
I welcome this new initiative by the Met and I believe that Londoners will also be reassured to see the police being proactive in the fight back against the terrible scourge of knife crime.
Quite right Boris. Totally wrong Jones.
I didn’t cover the murder of 16 year old Jimmy Mizen on Saturday. Partly because I was having a weekend off blogging and partly because the story was already being extensively covered in the mainstream, national media – in a way that the previous 12 teenage killings this year in London were not. You have to suspect that the media are more interested in the death of a white alter boy than the 12 BAME boys with foreign sounding names who preceded him to their deaths already this year. I don’t suppose they were all angels but even the most lost of them might have become decent men with luck.
Last year we had 26 teenagers murdered in London. With six weeks to go until the year is half done we have already got to half of last year’s total. 150 policemen stopping and searching is the least we should be doing.
Maybe Jenny Jones should look at the faces here and ask herself who the police should be targeting if it isn’t black boys. Let’s deal with a bit of resentment and keep these boys alive. In the meantime why is Jenny Jones on the Metropolitan Police Authority anyway? What a waste of space?
Update: Even Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is talking sense on this issue, see here.