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How the UK's 'Sus' law led to London riots..

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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:31 AM
Original message
How the UK's 'Sus' law led to London riots..
Edited on Mon Aug-08-11 07:33 AM by HipChick
Many young black men believed police officers discriminated against them, particularly by use of the 'Sus' law under which anybody could be stopped and searched if officers merely suspected they might be planning to carry out a crime. In others words, you can be detained for no reason, just looking suspicious..Known as "Sus", the law allowed police to stop, search and arrest anyone they chose as a crime prevention tactic.

But it was widely believed to have been abused by officers to harass young black, asian and other minorities.

Add in the mixture of high unemployment, deprivation, racial tensions and poor relations with police it's a powder keg..

Since Lord Scarman's report on the events in Brixton riots was published in November 1981, similar disturbances had taken place in a raft of other English cities, most notably Liverpool and Manchester.

A public task force report, stated that "no doubt racial disadvantage was a fact of current British life".

But he concluded that "institutional racism" did not exist in the Metropolitan force. 18yrs years later Lord Macpherson would famously come to the opposite conclusion in his report following the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The report led to an end to the Sus law, the creation of the Police Complaints Authority and police/community consultative groups as well as new approaches to police recruitment and training.

On April 2, 1980, police raided the notorious Black and White Cafe in St Pauls, Bristol, sparking the most serious riots on mainland Britain since before the Second World War. And after Met police stopped and searched 943 people - the vast majority black and law-abiding - and arrested only 118 during a blitz on robberies and burglaries in the spring of 1981 trouble flared again in Brixton. Complaints of harassment and racism soared and riots on the streets left police cars and properties burned out.

In July the same year Toxteth, Liverpool, was gripped by riots. Police were forced to withdraw as 150 buildings on a one-mile stretch of road were torched and 781 officers hurt.

The law was hastily abolished that year.

Since 1981 there has continued to be sporadic outbreaks of riots both in other major cities, most memorably in the north of England when white and Asian youths clashed during the summer of 2001. It's about race..now disguised under anti-terror measures.


In January 2008 David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, announced that he would, if elected, seek to return similar powers to the police. Under Conservative proposals, police sergeants would be able to authorise the use of stop and search of pedestrians and vehicles in a specific area for up to six hoursor 48 hours if permission is granted by a senior officer.

Enough said...
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yep - people have convenient memories
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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm headed over in a couple of days...

One of the biggest gripes in that leadership in charge are on summer holidays..
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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It's not new...it's a smouldering keg...

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