Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner – Equality

Friday, October 12th, 2012. 3:02pm

Cambridgeshire Police Stop and Search Form

Cambridgeshire Police Stop and Search Form

I think it is desirable for a Police and Crime Commissioner, and indeed anyone holding public office, to make a clear that they want to see everyone treated equally by the state irrespective of factors such as race or age when those factors are irrelevant.

Too often I think the police are reluctant to act robustly against groups such as for example mothers, travellers, or other groups which they describe as “sensitive”. I think that the police treating groups of people differently based on irrelevant factors in this way is counter-productive and can increase tension and be divisive.

Often well meaning efforts to create equality are counter-productive or silly, for example calls for stops and searches to be carried out proportionately to the fraction of the total population made up by various groups.

What is important is the grounds for a stop and search are independent of racial or age based bias; though if people from particular group meet those grounds more often than others then disproportionate stop and search of such groups is appropriate. Criminality is not evenly distributed across our population, and so therefore neither should police action be. I don’t want to see the police asked to make token stop-searches of grannies (which if groundless would be illegal) to balance their stop-searches of young men on legitimate grounds.

See Also


I have published a summary of my views on what Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner ought do.

One comment/update on “Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner – Equality

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    The “Inspector Gadget” blogger has also suggested, in relation to travellers:

    As far as I can see we should do what we do with everyone else-leave them alone….until they commit a crime then deal with them for that crime. That way we would be treating them equally.

    He describes the current problems within the police, which I have seen in North Cambridge, that mean this is not currently the case, writing:

    We don’t go onto traveller sites much. It’s nothing to do with cowardice, well, not on our part at least.

    It is to do with the freakin INSANE reaction you get from senior officers, panicking about whether we might have upset this ethnic minority, declaring critical incidents and generally massively over reacting. Last time I went to check on a traveller site I had to fill in a 10 page community impact assessment afterwards-not making that mistake again.

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