10 Aug 2004
The Muslim Council of Britain has criticised Michael Howard and the Conservative Party for the speech he delivered in Middlesbrough today in which he vowed not to implement a key recommendation of the MacPherson Inquiry on Police Stop and Search activities.
Dr Abdul Bari, Deputy Secretary General of the MCB said: `We are astonished Michael Howard has made such a speech. One would have thought that a Party that wishes to form the next government would have consulted with key stakeholders who have experience in this area before making such a commitment.’
Mr Howard had said that he would end the practice of recording stops because it was `proving a needless burden on rank and file police officers.’
Dr Abdul Bari rejected this adding: `The Metropolitan Police have themselves confirmed that they do not believe that the stop and search reforms have impaired their work. In fact, it is due to the monitoring of stop and search figures that we know that British people of African Caribbean descent are 8 times more likely to be stopped and searched than their white counterparts.
“Also, it is due to the monitoring of these figures that we know that there has been an over 300% increase in the number of stops and searches of Asians since September 11th. Monitoring provides an important tool in seeing disparate behaviour. If citizens are to have confidence in the police, it is important that they are given as much information as possible. We are concerned that Mr Howard wishes to place a veil of secrecy on such an important police power’.[Ends]
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact tel: 07708 065 150[ENDS]