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Asians targetted in UK stop and search ops

Source: PTI
August 17, 2005 20:15 IST
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Asians are targeted the most in the 'stop and search operations' conducted by the British police, which they increased by over 15 times in the wake of the July 7 bombings in London, a study said on Wednesday.

According to figures compiled by the British transport police, people of Asian appearance were five times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, though none of the stops have resulted in a terrorism charge.

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Transport police stopped and searched 6,747 people, mostly in London, between July 7 and August 10, and out of this 2,390 were Asians, about 35 per cent, figures revealed. Police stopped 2,168 whites, about 32 per cent, during the same period.

Interestingly, Asian people comprise just 12 per cent of the London population in comparison to 63 per cent white people. In June, the force stopped 408 people nationwide, with less focus on Asians. Of that, 51 per cent were white, 8.6 per cent African-Caribbean, and 16.2 per cent Asians. The stop and search operations in July led to 25 arrests, mainly for drugs and weapons offences.

Transport police believe intelligence-led stop and searches have got to be the way after the London attacks.

"We should not waste time searching old white ladies. It is going to be disproportionate. It is going to be young men, not exclusively, but may be disproportionate when it comes to ethnic groups," transport police sources said. Meanwhile, Hazel Blears, a home office minister, said operations "will not discriminate against Muslims."

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