'Racial stereotyping' Crimestoppers poster sparks anger in Glasgow

Banner shows a hand-cuffed black man pinned to the ground by a giant mobile phone next to the slogan ‘Drugstoppers’

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The Independent Online

A Crimestoppers poster that depicts a black drug dealer being tackled by a giant mobile phone has drawn complaints from equality campaigners in Scotland.

The African and Caribbean Network (ACN) represents more than 2,000 people in Glasgow and the surrounding region, and said that the new billboard “sends out completely the wrong message”.

Graham Campbell, vice-chairman of ACN Glasgow, told the Scottish Herald newspaper: “This is not an image I would want to see associated with black people in Glasgow.

”These types of billboards were a problem when I was growing up in London back in the 1980s and we've moved on since then.

“But we rarely see black people represented at all, so it's hugely disappointing that when we do they are portrayed negatively.”

He added that one of the posters had been placed in an area of Glasgow with a predominantly black community, and said: “The implication is being given to people that they should mistrust their neighbour.”

Crimestoppers released a statement saying that they apologised if any offence had been caused, but that the poster came as part of a wider awareness campaign depicting “a broad cross section of society”.

They said: “Crimestoppers exists to provide a voice to those who otherwise may find themselves without a means of reporting crime and criminal behaviour.

“The charity aims to unite communities in doing so and provides a platform for people to do something positive in making their town or city a safer place to live irrespective of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation or beliefs. We are a non-judgemental charity here to help and support communities.”

Responding to the poster on Twitter, user @_mozz_ said: “Think this objection is completely valid & posters should be taken down.”

And the Glasgow-based Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights posted a link about the campaign, adding: “Crimestoppers advert criticised by Glasgow activists over racial stereotyping.”