The independent London newspaper

Police to record driver ethnicity during stops

The scheme has been introduced to improve public trust in the force

21 January, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Officers stopping vehicles have to record driver’s ethnicity

THE ethnicity of drivers pulled over by police will be recorded from this week in a bid to increase “public trust and confidence”.

The six-month pilot scheme will see data collected from every vehicle stop, including the driver’s sex, age, ethnic background and the make and model.

Information will then be used to assess if vehicle stops are ethnically proportionate.

Met operations commander Kyle Gordon said: “It is right and proper that we are transparent and accountable in the use of our powers. Lower levels of trust create challenges to keeping Londoners safe, whether it is a reluctance to share information, to report crime, or to support our work to tackle violence.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan first announced the plan last November, following criticism after police stopped Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos, and were accused of racially profiling the black athletes who were driving a Mercedes.

Ethnicity data is already collected in police stop-and-searches. Camden’s figures show black people are disproportionately stopped and searched in the borough. The majority of these are men.

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