Anti-racism / Policing / Stop and search

Liberty responds to new policing and criminal justice plans

Posted on 27 Jul 2021

Liberty has responded to Government plans to permanently relax rules around Section 60 “suspicionless” stop and search, alongside a range of policing initiatives announced today.

Emmanuelle Andrews, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Liberty, said: “We all want to feel safe in our communities, but expanding what have proven to be discriminatory police powers isn’t how we get there. Many communities, particularly communities of colour, experience overbearing and oppressive policing and the package the Government has put forward will only worsen this. It will subject more young people to further coercion, punishment and control. It will compound discrimination in Britain and divide communities.

“In fact, the rate of discrimination in the use of stop and search has been rising for years and is most extreme under Section 60. Far from expanding these powers, this Government should repeal suspicion-less stop and search powers like Section 60, and ensure forces take meaningful steps to account for when and why they have used suspicion-based powers.

“Greater police powers and more oppressive policies only serve to funnel young people into the criminal justice system. We instead need community-led interventions through investment in services such as health, education, housing and social welfare and work with communities to develop strategies for keeping all of us safe. In short, we need strategies with fairness, participation, and human rights at their heart.’

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