Met Police chief Cressida Dick: London's officers are not targeting young black men

  • Cressida Dick says there is a 'distinction' between police force in UK and US

Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, has dismissed suggestions officers unfairly target black people, amid accusations aimed at the force.

New figures show that officers enforcing coronavirus lockdown were more than twice as likely to issue fines to black people as opposed to white people, according to analysis carried out for the Guardian.

It comes as some protesters drew comparisons with police in the UK and the US, and while thousands others took to the streets in solidarity over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by Minneapolis police in the US.

Ms Dick said there was a “distinction” between the US and the UK in terms of its “history, its culture and policing models” and that Met Police officers were not unfairly targeting black people.

She said: “We know that in London our black communities have suffered all sorts of disadvantages in terms of health, in terms of education, in terms of employment outcomes.

  • 'I completely refute a suggestion that this is because the officers are targeting... young black men'

“And our black communities are very heavily subject to being victims of violent crime. We police in the areas where we can do the best effect at reducing violence.

“And so we are policing and present in areas of high footfall and areas where that weather has been balanced. Now, when one of my officers… stop, let's say a hundred white people and then a hundred black people, the outcome, the positive outcome rate is exactly the same.

Protesters take a knee during a protest in Windrush Square, Brixton. Credit: PA

"So I completely refute a suggestion that this is because the officers are targeting, for example, young black men. We're not, we're policing in areas where violence is high. We're trying to protect people. We are highly accountable, we're highly scrutinised.”

Pockets of protesters clashed with police after thousands of people flooded into central London for a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Wednesday.

Activists chanted “black lives matter” and “we will not be silent” in Hyde Park in a peaceful demonstration before tensions escalated later outside Downing Street.

The Metropolitan Police said 13 people were arrested during the protests, which ran into the early hours of Thursday morning.