Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:26 pm on 21st April 2021.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 1:26 pm, 21st April 2021

My Lords, the report cites the evidence that you are six times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police if you are black than if you are white; that the vast majority of stop and searches are for drugs, not weapons; and that as a result class B drug offences amount to nearly half of prosecutions of all ethnic minority groups. This evidence gives rise to the perception, which the report fails to mention or address, that the police are there to target black people, not protect them. As the Minister mentioned, Stephen Lawrence Day is tomorrow. A witness to the Macpherson inquiry into his tragic death 20 years ago said that the black community felt overpoliced and underprotected. What has changed? How can progress be made if black people do not have confidence in the report?