Black Lives Matter UK opposes the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This bill seeks to expand the powers of a police and prison system which fails to keep us safe.
Britain’s prison population has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, with no improvement in public safety. Over the past 20 years, police have been given more power to use lethal weapons, searches, raids and surveillance, powers which reproduce institutional racism and fail to keep communities safer from harm.
While this government can find resources for more police, prison and border power, it cuts domestic violence refuges, youth services, housing, education and other vital services which can improve the safety and lives of the most marginalised.
Further to this, when women, black people and other oppressed groups organise to resist violence, the police repress these movements, and actively create violence. The police violence during the BLM and Sisters Uncut vigils are just two examples of this. When it comes to keeping racialised people safe from racist violence, or keeping women and non-binary people safe from gender-based violence, the police have proven themselves time and again to be incapable.
– 58 Met officers and staff members have faced sexual misconduct hearings in 19 months. From 2012-2018, 562 officers were accused of sexual assault, only 43 cases faced proceedings.
– The conviction rate for police officers committing domestic abuse was 3.9%. The police protect their own and we have to protect ours.
– It has been found that police “encouraged” victims to withdraw rape allegations to boost detection rates in 2008-09.
This list is not exhaustive, there are an endless amount of cases and stories of police misconduct, especially in relation women. It’s not a few bad apples, the system is rotten to its core. Defending our right to protest and developing our communities of mutual aid, care and resistance are the only way we can challenge violence in all its forms.