As a part of a grander body of research, chapter two of our fuller report is intended to explore how counter terrorism broadly affects Britain, as opposed to the misleading idea that counter terrorism only affects British Muslims, has been submitted to the UK Home Office for a policy consultation on counter terrorism stop and search.
Philip Brennan’s and my research found that counter terrorism stop and searches, as defined by Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (now suspended and replaced by Section 47A), disproportionately targeted ethnic minorities, especially the black community. To be specific, in looking at 187,671 stop and searches between 2008 and 2009 in all of London, including stops and searches conducted both by City Police and London Metropolitan Police, we found that there were a total of 1,150 arrests resulting from Section 44 stop and searches. 447 of these arrests were white, 312 were black, and 231 were Asian. In actual terms, Asians are 1.9 times as likely to be arrested as white people and black people are 3.4 times as likely to be arrested as white people.
We feel that counter terrorism stop and searches have contributed to the overall continuum of disproportionality displayed at Britain’s black community within Britain’s criminal justice system – a disproportionality, cited by the London School of Economics, as being one of the major contributing factor to the summer riots of 2011. Furthermore, we feel that counter terrorism stop and searches have served as one aspect of a larger programme to militarise Britain. Progressively, police have steadily been trained and armed with heavy weapons and now appear on the streets of Britain all in the name of counter terrorism. This disturbing trend has seen the British Transport Police as the final link to a fully militarised police force in Britain as of May 2011. We worry that by arming the same police that display irresponsible disproportionality, at the worst of times a lethal negligence, will create a milieu of corrupted police patrol culture that sees the reckless targeting civilians merely engaging in ordinary life.
See the full consultation here.
Or download here.
The final report is due this May of 2012. Authors of this report include Philip Brennan, Christina Keating Sami & Ayesha Kazmi