» Friday, July 2, 2004

Stop and Search

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the latest statistics which showed a rise in the number of Asians who had been targeted by police under the Government’s stop-and-search policy, the PMS said that both Hazel Blears and Baroness Scotland had been expressing the views of the Prime Minister and the Government on this issue this morning. Our commitment to race equality was as strong as ever. The imbalance illustrated by the figures today was unacceptable. That was why the Home Office had decided to set up a new unit – the Stop and Search Action Team – which would look at how the powers were used. It would also work with police forces to address the concerns around this policy. Put to her that the police had pointed out that the increase was due to the fact that they had been instructed to do what they could to avoid terrorist actions in the UK, the PMS acknowledged that the powers under the Terrorism Act were linked in with today’s figures. However, it was important to recognise that they were dealt with in a different way to stop-and-search powers. For example, section 44 of the Terrorism Act stated that permission had to be granted by a Chief Police Officer before an arrest was made in a specific operation that had been undertaken.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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