MP Dawn Butler makes co-operation appeal to ensure police confidence

MP Dawn Butler made an appeal to ensure there is ‘confidence in the system’ on This Morning, as she discussed being stopped by the Metropolitan Police over the weekend.

The MP and former shadow equalities secretary was the passenger in a BMW driven by a friend when they were stopped by police in Hackney, east London.

The pair were stopped by the Met Police on Sunday – with officers pulling them over while flashing blue lights.

The MP for Brent Central, in north-west London, said in an interview with the PA news agency: “It’s obviously racial profiling.

“We know that the police is institutionally racist and what we have to do is weed that out. We have to stop seeing black with crime. We have to stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime.”

Scotland Yard said the stop was a result of an officer having “incorrectly entered” the car’s registration plate into a computer to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire, but did not explain why the search was carried out in the first place.



Speaking on This Morning on Tuesday, Ms Butler told presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford that it was important there was co-operation to guarantee confidence in policing.

She said: “If we are really going to tackle the system, and where the system is wrong, we need to understand how the system works and why it’s working the way it works.

Asked by Eamonn Holmes if she was against stop and search per se, Ms Butler replied: “Stop and search needs to change completely because it doesn’t work in its current form.

“Of course, police will need to stop people, of course, they will have to have conversations with people, of course they have to eradicate crime.

“But if you’re using a system where 85% of the time there’s no action, so it’s only 15% where it works some of the time, it’s not a very good system.

She told This Morning: “We need to make sure there is confidence in the system. That is why it is important that I work with the police, and other people work with the police too, and we build a system that works. Now is the time to build that system that works and remove the institutional racism that exists.

“People get scared when you say racism because they say ‘you’re calling all the police racist’. No, I’m not. If the system has racism built into the system, you’re just doing what the system is telling you to do.

“And the system is failing police officers as well as failing the community.”

On the video uploaded at the time of the incident, shown on This Morning ahead of the interview, Ms Butler said: “I’ve got no concern with how the officers stopped me. Very polite. What I’m questioning is the reason for the stop.”

She added: “The way you profile is wrong. Because what you do is you create an environment where you create animosity. It is really quite irritating. It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black, because you’re going to be stopped by police.”

Scotland Yard’s statement regarding the incident said: “Prior to stopping the vehicle, an officer incorrectly entered the registration into a police computer which identified the car as registered to an address in Yorkshire.

“Upon stopping the vehicle and speaking with the driver, it quickly became apparent that the registration had been entered incorrectly and was registered to the driver in London.

“Once the mistake was realised the officer sought to explain this to the occupants, they were then allowed on their way.”

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