New police powers 'victimise minorities'

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The Independent Online

Ethnic minorities and young people could be victimised by police under moves to give officers greater stop-and-search powers, campaigners warn.

Ministers will announce plans next week to expand a scheme giving police authority to search suspects without stating their reasons in areas badly hit by knife and gun crime.

They are also preparing to reduce the bureaucracy involved – police have to fill in a foot-long form every time they question someone in the street, even if it does not lead to a search. Officers are expected to be asked to record the details on tape, but paper forms will remain for full searches.

Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, said: "Instead of contributing to public safety, it alienates the young people who need to be actively engaged in tackling violence."