Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 14:52 UK

'Racist' Met music form revised

Concert-goers
About 70 London pubs and clubs are required to complete the 696 form

A Metropolitan Police risk assessment form for pubs and clubs which opponents suggested was "potentially racist" has been revised, the force has said.

A letter bearing 50 signatures was sent to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in response to Form 696.

The form asked for the names, age, addresses and phone numbers of artists and promoters, for details of the target audience and for music style.

Revisions include removing the music genre question, the Met said.

Critics of the form had asked the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to intervene, saying there was "unease" that it was being used to target events by black or Asian organisers.

Form 696 should not be amended. It should be scrapped
UK Music

Among the letter's signatories was Feargal Sharkey, head of UK Music, which represents the UK's commercial music industry.

In May, the Common's culture, media and sport select committee, in its review of the Licensing Act 2003, called for the form to be scrapped.

It said music should not automatically be treated as a "disruptive activity, which will inevitably lead to nuisance and disorder".

Responding to the news the form was to be revised, UK Music said in a statement: "The Metropolitan Police review process for this risk assessment form has not been conducted in a fully transparent way, and we would like to make it clear that UK Music has not been part of this review.

"UK Music stands by our position in support of the recommendations of the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport.

"Form 696 should not be amended. It should be scrapped."

'Clumsy bits'

Chief Superintendent Richard Martin, who is head of the Metropolitan Police's clubs and vice unit, said there had been "some clumsy bits" on the form.

"It's about taking those things out and stopping the worry," he said.

But he stressed: "I don't think it was discriminatory."

Mr Martin said the reason for asking about which artists were booked to perform was to see if their followers were likely to be involved in trouble.

"I'm not interested in the music type. Sometimes it's just about the following.

"If you have a series of people playing in a nightclub, each will have their own following. Sometimes those followings don't get on."

Mr Martin said the forms were really about "saving lives" as they allowed the police and events promoters to share information.



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