Former Equality and Human Rights Commission head Trevor Phillips has called for tougher policing in black communities hit by knife crime than in white areas with less violence.
Phillips calls come after recent stabbings in London. Many have expressed dismay that PM Mrs May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan didn’t handle the spate of shootings and knifings in the capital better.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr Phillips said: “We have to be honest and say the central issue is not white boys in Surrey being stabbed or stabbing other people. The victims and perpetrators are mainly from a narrow range of backgrounds, and we should not be afraid to say so. They are usually from black, Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.”
There was no reason they should not use different methods in different parts of the country, he argued, giving Tottenham and Maidenhead as an example.
“In areas like Tottenham where I grew up and where large numbers of black children are attacking other black children, there is a case for policing them differently to places like Maidenhead where this is not the case.”
He said: “One of the main problems we face is that nobody has had the courage to stand up and tell the truth. Unless we are honest enough to acknowledge the real nature of the problem, and in particular the fact that it has racial and cultural dimensions, all we are doing is flapping our lips and virtue signalling.”
The Third Way view: We welcome his call but caution against the misuse of stop and search tactics by the police. We suggest that the police are transparent and sensitive in their approach and document any use of such powers including through bodycams. Buy-in from local communities is needed before any change in police tactics.