Policing

Met Police: 'Focus on violence' behind disproportionate force on black people

Nick Ephgrave
BBC

The "disproptionate use of force" by the Met Police against black people is because officers are "focussing efforts on those who are involved in perpetrating violence," Scotland yard has said.

Metropolitan Police officers are four times more likely to use force against black people compared with the white population,according to official figures.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave told the BBC the police response could only be judged when taking into account "the types of crimes committed, the type of demographics of individuals involved in those crimes".

Mr Ephgrave said he was "worried" by the "disproportionality" in the use of force.

"But I’m also worried by the fact that young black men, are much more likely to be stabbed in the street, much more likely to be the victim of serious violence, much more likely to be the victim of gun crime, and much more likely to be the perpetrator," he said.

"We are trying to prevent young people from whatever background being injured and becoming victims of gun crime, knife crime and serious violence," he said.

"And we have to therefore focus our efforts on those who are involved in perpetrating that violence - and that's going to end up in disproportionate interactions.

"I take no pleasure in saying this, and it must be hard reading for people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, but we do know that black men are disproportionately affected by these types of crimes. "If you simply look at disproportionality you're not seeing the full picture."

Watch the full interview tonight on BBC London at 18:30 BST on Thursday or catch up on iPlayer.

Met Police 'four times more likely' to use force on black people

Sam Francis

BBC News, London

Anaylsis of Met Police data shows officers were nearly four times more likely to use force against black people compared with the white population.

Restraint techniques - such as stirkes, wristlocks and groundpinning - were also three times more likely to be used on black people.

Serving and former officers in the Met have told the BBC this is down to "racial biases" among police.

But Scotland Yard said "the causes of disproportionality are not straight forward and easy to understand".

Using force is dangerous for both the police and the suspect. Police are more likely to end up injured than the target.

Last year 96 Met Officers were severely injured during use of force incidents - compared to 90 civilians.

Read more here.

data pic
BBC