Hayley Dixon, Telegraph, November 11, 2018
Police officers should be exempt from race discrimination laws in order to target black youths in high crime areas, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said.
Trevor Phillips said that “white liberals” need to stop “hand-wringing” and admit the truth that the wave of knife crime is black children killing black children.
He called for officers to target high-risk inner-city areas and to be exempt from laws which prevent them discriminating on the basis of someone’s race or ethnic origin.
Police dealing with gangs also need to be given greater powers akin to anti-terror laws which would allow them to detain the leaders who give the orders rather than wielding the knife, Mr Phillips said.
The comments come amid a rising wave of violence which has seen 250 stabbing deaths in the UK this year, with five of those murders occurring in London in the past nine days.
Describing the dead as “sacrifices in an unwinnable war”, Mr Phillips said that the political response had been “pathetic” and too focused on police numbers when there is no evidence that this will help.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “First we need to be clear about who is dying and who is doing the killing, and we must be honest that there is a racial component to the violence.”
The deaths are taking place in the semi-ghettos of Britain’s big cities which are home to refugees many of whom are traumatised by the warfare that they have escaped and feel a sense of belonging by joining gangs, he said.
Adding: “So the forlorn attempts by politicians and media to ignore this truth — to avoid ‘stigmatising’ minority communities — has been counterproductive, a hand-wringing dereliction of responsibility.
“It might make ‘right-on’ white liberals feel better. But the price of their smugness is an ongoing bloody massacre of black children with a casualty list that seems to lengthen by the day.”
The son of poor immigrant parents, he said that whilst violence is nothing new the knuckle dusters and bricks he encountered in his youth in north London have been replaced by a “a lethal armoury of knives, swords, handguns and, occasionally, automatic rifles – some in the hands of children as young as ten”.
He called for high risk zones to be identified and flooded with officers “using stop-and-search powers as freely as they wish”.
Stop-and-search powers have long attracted controversy amid claims that they are used to unfairly target black men.
The intervention comes after Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, used an interview with the Telegraph to call for the police to be able to use high tech surveillance methods such as facial recognition technology to crack down on crime.
Mr Philips backed her call, saying that if it helps then “fretting about privacy from people whose families are in no danger should be ignored”.
He added: “In areas where the gangs are primarily black or from another ethnic group, police might even be permitted to apply for exemption from race discrimination laws for a limited period. This could free their hands to act against specific targets — and few would be more pleased than minority parents who constantly worry that their children may never come home.”
In order to ensure that this was done fairly all officers should be be fitted with a bodyworn camera, he argued.
He also called for further powers to be extended to prison governors, to prevent gangs consolidating their control over behind bars.
The former boss of the ECHR said that rather than spending time and money on “pointless” campaigns about social media hate crimes and instead focus resources on helping those trapped inside the cycle of violence.
He suggested at risk families should be relocated and bright young children at danger of joining gangs should be sent to boarding schools.
He also suggested offering incentives such as a council tax “holiday” to families who would move into at risk areas to change the social make-up and disrupt gangs.