Keith Jarrettt, President of the National Black Police Association of Britain, called today for an increases in halting and searching urban blacks in order to reduce crime. “From the return I am getting from a lot of black people,” he said, “they want to stop these killings, these knife criminals, and if it means their sons and daughters are going to be inconvenienced by being stopped by the police, so be it. I hope we are going down that road.” He believes there must be a more aggressive policy toward black young people if crime is to be reduced.
There are several assumptions in Mr. Jarrett’s statement about reducing crime through means of the process of halting, searching, seizure and arrest. One, is that only potential “criminals” are the ones who are halted and searched. Two, that halting and searching people on the streets leads to lower crime rates. Three, that non-crminals who are halted on the streets and searched will be supportive of these police actions. The MacPherson Report in 1999 concluded the British police system was institutionally racist. There is no question some potential criminals might be halted if we follow the Jarrett approach, but the cost in lowering willingness of civilians to cooperate with police will be drastically impaired. Mr. Keith Jarrett is unquestionably a man who is concerned with the lives of black skinned people in England. But, he refuses to explore more complex reasons for crime such as making criminal possession of drugs. Legalization of drugs might go more to reducing crime than many other solutions.