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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 10:51 GMT
Editor's anger at stop and search
Police say they are trying to tackle gun crime
A newspaper editor is set to sue the Metropolitan Police after he and his girlfriend were subjected to a stop-and-search by more than 30 armed police officers.

Michael Eboda, editor of the New Nation newspaper, was pulling into the driveway of his home in Hackney, east London, with his girlfriend Yvonne, on 16 February when they were asked to pull over by four police officers.

He claims more than 30 officers then arrived, many armed and others with dogs, and began frisking the couple and searching Mr Eboda's Jaguar car.

He claims he was told by the officers he was being searched because his car and skin colour "fit the profile" of those involved in gun crime in the area.

"I was completely and utterly humiliated on my own doorstep," he told The Observer newspaper.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: Arbitrary stop and search will only serve to increase tension between the police and minority ethnic communities.

Section 60

"I have already consulted with solicitors and there is a very strong possibility that I will be taking legal action over this."

Scotland Yard said Mr Eboda was stopped because police had issued a Section 60 notice in the streets around his home.

The order, given under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, gives police the right to stop and search any person or vehicle, within a particular area, for a specific time, whether or not they suspect the person is carrying weapons.

The Scotland Yard spokesman said is was a "specific operation to target a specific problem".

Locations targeted

"The borough of Hackney has suffered 23 firearms offences since the beginning of this year," the spokesman added.

"We don't have intelligence on all the perpetrators so these operations target the location where theses shootings occur.

"The black community in Hackney, like other residents in the borough, expect us to take measure to prevent or detect these crimes.

"We would not take these steps without their consent."

Mr Eboda has so far made no formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police.



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