ULU vice-president arrested

London student union VP Daniel Cooper tangles with police over other students' drugs busts

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The Independent Online

The University of London Union’s vice-president was arrested last week in London after protesting police drug searches on a student campus

Daniel Cooper was arrested on 27 September on Royal Holloway campus during a drugs search conducted by Surrey police.

“The police stopped two black students and I heard that over the evening they were stopping more. I felt it was an act of black racial profiling,” Cooper said.

Cooper intervened in a stop and search and was arrested; however he was later given a caution for obstructing a police officer. He had been visiting friends on the Royal Holloway campus that evening.

He continued, “There were two issues for me there; the large presence of police officers and with tasers and dogs and the stopping of a number of black students, which I felt was unnecessary.”

A spokesperson for Surrey police confirmed the searches had taken place, but denied any accusations of ‘profiling’.

“We did have a passive drugs dog there, and if it takes an interest in someone it raises our officers’ attention. We would strongly refute any suggestion of racial profiling,” The spokesperson said today.

He refused to comment on the number of officers present for the search, claiming it was standard procedure to not disclose the number of officers present.

In a statement Royal Holloway University said the police presence was part of a routine drugs education and awareness exercise, and that officers had been invited at the request of the student union’s commercial services team.

Holloway Student Union confirmed the search had been pre-agreed.

Continuing, the statement from Royal Holloway SU said: “We will also be continuing to look into issues raised by individual students, such as racial profiling and unnecessary force.” 

A police spokesperson confirmed that although one 19-year-old male had been arrested for the possession of an offensive weapon, and is currently released on bail pending further enquiries, no further arrests were made in relation to drugs.