The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to back a new Bill to scrap suspicion-less stop and search in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have exposed ingrained institutional racism and discrimination in the UK.
Given the disproportionate impact of current Stop and Search laws on black people in particular, and BAME communities more widely, the Liberal Democrats will today (Wednesday 24 June) introduce a Bill to outlaw suspicion-less Stop and Search, highlighting that the current law "undermines" community trust in police.
The Party is demanding the Government back their proposal. If passed, the law would prohibit Section 60, suspicion-less stop and search, which currently leaves a black person almost 50 times more likely to be stopped than a white person. The party is further calling for a Race Equality Strategy and an end to the Hostile Environment.
Ahead of introducing the Bill, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:
“No one here in the UK or anywhere else in the world should have their life blighted by racist discrimination, inequality or injustice. It is unacceptable and must be tackled head on.
“Suspicion-less stop and search not only doesn’t work, but the disproportionate impact of these laws undermines police officers’ relationships with the communities they serve – the very relationships needed to prevent crime. The Liberal Democrats have long called for this fundamentally flawed law to be scrapped, and today I am introducing a Bill to do just that.
“The Conservative Government must get behind this Bill and make sure it becomes law. Of course, this has to be part of a broader Race Equality Strategy. We need the UK to move further and faster to redress institutional racism, not least by scrapping the policies at the core of the Tories’ discriminatory Hostile Environment.”