Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Petition against live music form

By Georgie Rogers
6 Music news reporter

Reverend And The Makers Jon McClure
McClure has been touring with his politically aware band Mongrel

Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure has set up a petition aiming to get the Metropolitan Police to scrap the use of Form 696.

Form 696 is a risk assessment form for gigs and requires details of the performers and asks licence owners to predict the "target audience".

The singer claimed the form targets black music fans and is in place to "stop black kids from having gigs".

The Met police say the form is voluntary, and "not discriminatory".

The form has been in use in 21 London boroughs since October 2005, and requires names, addresses and phone numbers of performers 14 days in advance.

McClure claims Form 696 is racially discriminatory and has set up a petition on the Prime Minister's Office website.

It's a bit of a racist tool used by the London Met and other boroughs to basically stop black kids having gigs
Reverend And The Makers' frontman, Jon McClure
McClure told BBC 6 Music: "For me, it is an attack on local promoters because it makes their job increasingly difficult, but also, it's a bit of a racist tool used by the London Met and other boroughs. For what purpose does the ethnicity of an audience matter in modern day society? Nothing."

David Isles, a detective superintendent with the Met Police Clubs and Vice Unit, explained: "I think that that's naive in the extreme because this is about black kids being shot and stabbed."

The Form 696 scheme was introduced when police became concerned about gun crime at clubs.

Detective Superintendent Isles said: "You have particular gangs aligned to particular types of music and that obviously created an environment where rival gangs would target them.

"It wasn't about the music, it wasn't about the venue, it wasn't about the promotion, it was because gangs were associated with those particular events."

He said the aim of Form 696 was not to shut events down.

"That is the last resort and we would only ever do that when the threat level is so high that no means of intervention could prevent someone from becoming a victim of violence."

Jon McClure is not the only musician to react against Form 696.

Head of UK Music and the former Undertones singer, Feargal Sharkey, has reported the use of the form to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

"UK Music is currently looking at the process of judicial review and that would involve all 21 local boroughs that we believe are involved in this," he said.

"We are already aware of a number of pubs that have had this now attached as a mandatory condition to their licence, which means if the landlord of that pub does not give that information, he is then in breach of his licence."

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