The Northern Police Monitoring Project (NPMP) wishes to offer its full support to the Stop the Scandal campaign launched by the Racial Justice Network and Yorkshire Resists. The stop and scan initiative allows police to check people’s fingerprints in the street against immigration and crime databases.
As the Stop the Scandal campaign has argued, the introduction of this scheme acts to ‘turn the UK police into a border force’. This scheme has been introduced without due consultation with the public, and there is no indication of: any checks against officer discrimination, checks against (racist) issues with the biometric technology, and checks of the accuracy of Home Office immigration databases. Given robust evidence of racism at all levels of policing, including evidence of racial discrimination in biometrics and data, stop and scan will undoubtedly impact most harshly on Black and Brown communities.
The interlocking of policing and immigration control agencies is likely to perpetuate racism and contribute to what is already a ‘hostile environment’ for People of Colour who live with the ubiquitous threats of detention, deportation, criminalisation and incarceration.
We encourage people to support the Stop the Scandal campaign, and particularly it’s demands that the Home Office:
- end the racist stop and scan initiative immediately, before it irreparably further damages relations between police and communities;
- sever all connections between police activity and immigration databases, to prevent the police becoming an extension of border forces;
- keep fingerprint scanning a step that only happens in police stations following arrest, in order to protect citizen privacy rights;
- and publicly release the data captured in the West Yorkshire pilot, including its impact on axes of race, age and gender.