Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is it racial profiling?

Ethnic breakdown of the little over 32,000 anti-terrorism stop and searches in London in the past 12 months.
17,348 - White (54%)
6,755 - Asian (21%)
4,287 - Black (13%)
1,806 - Other (5.5%)
2,199 - Not recorded (6.5%)
The current population of London is approximately 7,500,000 and the Asian community represents somewhere around 13-14% of the total population. It's also growing quite rapidly whilst the white community is decreasing according to Hindu Council.

When you allow for statistical anomolies, population growth, random stop and searches compared to specific reasonable suspicion based one, the idea that this is all about racial profiling seems to me to be a little out of perspective. No?


Anonymous said...

I expect that more stop and searches are carried out in inner london which has a higher proportion of black and asian people than outer london

Ted Foan said...

Good point anon (6.34pm).

Also, could it be that the BME lobby groups are interested in painting the police as racist as it helps perpetuate their existence (and funding from Ken, probably)?

Oh dear, I hope I don't get accused of being a right wing reactionary!

Chris Paul said...

There is clearly racial profiling at work here Dizzy.

Asian and Black searches are each considerably higher than should be expected. Iain Dale's asian friend says it's OK anyway, so why try to deny it? This fuels any anger.

Most people, even lefties and BME people in London, accept the stats with good grace.

dizzy said...

This isn't about trying to "deny" anything. I simply don't accept the premise being assumed based on the actual figures and the detailed demographics behind the use of the powers. If you actually stop and map those figures onto the ethnic population of London as a whole you will find that it's almost proportional. So I'm sorry Chris, the claim of racial profiling is a politically motivated assumption. Much like you're assumption that I am "denying" something. I'm merely pointing out that figure speak a different message to someone who is being slightly more rational and less politically emotive.

dizzy said...

Incidentally, I don't particularly give a crap if there is "profiling" going on. It's not about race anyway, it's about making prejudgements based on experience of what is known, which is a fundamental aspect of human nature, and, actually, all forms of nature and the acquisition of knowledge.

If you're a policeman mindful of Islmaist terrorist threats you're not going to stop and search a person dressed as a Catholic nun. You're going to stop and search the people that you consider look or are acting a bit dodgy. Framing this around the notion of racism is intellectually dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Are the stats for age also given? I would imagine that most of those stopped and searched are in the 16-35 age bracket (which is fair enough, given that there are fewer gun-carrying grannies around nowadays) and that Asians make up a larger proportion of people in that age group - particularly in London - than they do in the population as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it would be fair to state that we can't be terribly certain about the authenticity of any of these statistics. Speaking as someone who has been stopped and searched, and for whom NO documentary evidence has been given, it shouldn't be at all hard to believe that the POLICE EXERCISE THEIR POWERS WITHOUT ANY REGARD FOR LEGALITY OR DOCUMENTATION.