Coventry police black males advice is ‘inflammatory’

Police advice to pubs to look out for “young black males who look as though they are intent on committing disorder” has been branded inflammatory.

A Coventry police officer sent an email to the city’s Pubwatch scheme following the fatal stabbing of Fidel Glasgow, the grandson of Specials singer Neville Staple.

Race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust said it was racial profiling.

West Midlands Police called the wording of the email unfortunate.

Mr Glasgow was stabbed to death during an incident outside Club M in Coventry on 1 September.

Last week an officer emailed publicans and nightclub owners about a heightened alert over black males “who may be intent on reprisal”.

The email said:

“Large gatherings of young black males who look as though they are intent on committing disorder should be rung in on either 999s if an incident is occurring or 101.”

Neville Staple
Neville Staple’s grandson was stabbed to death in Coventry on 1 September. Image copyright: Getty Images.

The Runnymede Trust’s deputy director Zubaida Haque said:

“A young black male victim was tragically murdered, and instead of being sensitive about how black males in that community might be feeling scared, the police has severely worsened trust in the police by essentially racially profiling them.”

Dr Haque said the email was also “inflammatory” because it gave responsibility to pub and nightclub door staff to judge what is suspicious.

“If you have a gathering of young black men laughing and talking loudly, is that suspicious?”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, the national equality body, said it expected West Midlands Police to investigate the matter to ensure it is meeting its legal duties.

Supt Phil Healy, from Coventry Police, ruled out “malicious intent” by the officer who wrote the email, but said the wording would not be repeated.

He said:

“This incident underlines the care that’s needed when communicating with our communities, to ensure nothing can be taken out of context or cause offence.”

First Published 18.09.18: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-45554543

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