Monday, June 22, 2009

British Police Keep the Statistics Balanced

From The Guardian, over in jolly old England:
Thousands of people are being stopped and searched by the police under their counter-­terrorism powers – simply to provide a racial balance in official statistics, the government's official anti-terror law watchdog has revealed.

Lord Carlile said in his annual report that he had "ample anecdotal evidence" of it happening, adding that such a practice was "totally wrong" and constituted an invasion of civil liberties.

"I can well understand the concerns of the police that they should be free from allegations of prejudice," he said. "But it is not a good use of precious resources if they waste them on self-evidently unmerited searches."

He said there was little or no evidence that the use of section 44 stop and search powers by the police could prevent an act of terrorism.

"While arrests for other crime have followed searches under the section, none of the many thousands of searches has ever resulted in a conviction for a terrorism offence. Its utility has been questioned publicly and privately by senior Metropolitan police staff with wide experience of terrorism policing," said Carlile. He added that such searches were stopping between 8,000-10,000 people a month.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the ­"section 44 stops" allow the police to search anyone in a designated area without suspicion that an offence has occurred. Terror law used to stop thousands 'just to balance racial statistics'

I just thought you might appreciate the fact that we're not the only place where these kinds of things happen ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this happening in the U.S.?

June 22, 2009 12:37 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

No. This is in England.


June 22, 2009 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but you said this:

"you might appreciate the fact that we're not the only place where these kinds of things happen"

June 22, 2009 1:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yes, these kinds of things: racial quotas and misapplication of authority consequent to suspension of rights justified by antiterrorist sentiments.


June 22, 2009 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this sounds like random searches on the street in Britain

Britain has always had its Clockwork Orange side

is anything similar happening here?

I know I've been x-rayed and metal detected going into airport terminals, museums and military bases

big deal

anything else happening?

June 22, 2009 2:26 PM  

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