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Brent Central MP meets with Cressida Dick to discuss reforms to stop and search law

PUBLISHED: 17:24 14 August 2020

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central.

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central.

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Dawn Butler MP has met with Scotland Yard’s top chief to talk about reforms to stop and search law after she herself was stopped.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.

The Brent Central MP was joined by Met Commissioner Cressida Dick on Wednesday in Harlesden at a pre-arranged meeting.

Ms Butler was a passenger in a BMW driven by a black friend in the streets of Hackney on Sunday (August 8), when they were stopped by Metropolitan Police officers on blue light.

The police said that officers had “incorrectly entered” the registration number into a computer to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire,

Since Ms Butler posted a video of the incident she has been abused by trolls on social media insisting her friend was white.

On Wednesday deputy commissioner Steve House said in a statement that he did “condemn the abuse that some on social media have directed at Ms Butler” adding: It is unwarranted and unacceptable and we are working to support her.”

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Ms Butler said: “My friend understandably wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, however I am pleased that Commissioner Dick confirmed that the Met will indeed corroborate that the driver is a black male.”

A police spokesperson told this paper: “Can confirm the driver of the car was a black man.”

Ms Butler added: “I also made it very clear to Commissioner Dick that we need to see reforms to stop and search law, which is not only nine times more likely to be used against black people than white people nationally but also has a very low success rate. And also to section 163 stops of which 5.5 million are made each year.”

A meeting will be arranged for organisations and leaders in fields including Stopwatch, Liberty and Amnesty International to “discuss how communities and policing work together and how we can improve the system.”

The pair also agreed for Ms Butler to go to the Met’s training centre in Hendon in the near future so she can see and take part in the Met officer’s training.

She added: “It is imperative we build trust in policing in understanding bias, institutional and structural racism that exists in structures.

“I am committed to working with the Met police in order to build a better system for all.”


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