The first Question Time of the new year got off to a fiery start. In a heated discussion on London’s battle with knife crime, comedian Nish Kumar called out another panelist for supporting a “racist policy”.
Support for stop and search
Phillips claimed that reduction in the use of stop of search by the police has led to “
These comments were not well received by Kumar. He branded them ‘disgusting’, and said:
I’m furious with Melanie that she would sit in defence of stop and search, which is a racist policy. And that she would attack the Macpherson report and its attempts to drive institutional racism out of the police force. I am absolutely – as a Londoner – I am absolutely incensed and disgusted.
He went on to highlight alternative ways of tackling knife crime:
Now, the one thing I want to talk about is Karyn McCluskey in Glasgow and the systems that they put in place. Having spent time in Boston and looked at how that city worked to reduce its gang and weapon based violence, she had a kind of three pronged approach. A zero tolerance police policy. But also, and crucially, there was a focus on creating economic opportunity within these communities. They want to talk with charities that work
to, sort of, put victims in touch with people who are involved in gang violence, to kind of build empathy within the communities.
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And then he slammed the policies he believes have fed increases in knife crime in London and elsewhere:
But ultimately this is all about economics. You have to provide opportunity, funding and resources for young people, right.
It’s not just cutsto police numbers… We’re talking about a £736 million cut between 2010 and 2017 on youth services across the United Kingdom. How do you think that is not going to have an impact?
And it’s disgusting that you two would sit, politicise the issue, and sit in defence of a racist policy.
You can watch Kumar’s contribution in full here:
The reality of stop and search
Police use of stop and search is highly controversial with a police force that even senior police officers admit is still ‘institutionally racist’. Black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.
The evidence against stop and search is pretty damning. Thankfully, Nish Kumar reminded Melanie Phillips of this reality.
Featured image via screengrab.
- Read more articles on knife crime.
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