• Sofia Eugeniou

BAME people account for more than 70% of driver drug searches

Image credit: The Voice website

New data has found that black, Asian and minority ethnic drivers are the majority of those stopped for 'drug driving' in England's capital, despite being more likely to have not committed any crime.

This latest finding comes after European and Commonwealth gold medallist Bianca William and her partner Ricardo dos Santos publicly spoke about being pulled from their car and detained away from their three-month-old son.

The data, first published in The Sun, shows that 7,796 of the 11,026 drivers stopped and searched by the Metropolitan Police in April and at the start of May were from BAME backgrounds.

While only 37 per cent of people living in London identify as BAME, people of these backgrounds make up the majority of stop and search subjects – a disparity made clear by those speaking out against racial profiling and institutionalised racism in recent weeks.

Of those stopped in London in April and May 72 per cent of BAME drivers were released with no further action, compared to 67 per cent of white drivers pulled over by police.

Williams has made her stance clear that she and her partner were indeed victims of racial profiling by the Met Police, stating they were treated like ‘scum’ as they were pulled from their car by officers in west London while their child was in the back seat.

The couple were separated from each other before being handcuffed. Ultimately, they were let go without further action.

Unfortunately, it is young boys and men of Afro-Caribbean backgrounds that continue to be disproportionately stopped and searched by police officers, typically concerning driving a stolen vehicle or for smoking cannabis.

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has since apologised to Ms Williams, and the organisation has voluntarily referred itself to watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

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