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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Monday, 18 October 2010 17:41 UK
Jesse Jackson launches group to tackle Stop & Search

Prominent US civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson has launched a new action group aimed at ending the disproportionate number of ethic minorities who are stopped and searched by police in the UK.

Jesse Jackson launches stop and search action group

Mr Jackson attended the launch of 'StopWatch' at King's College London, where he also called for an end to 'racial profiling' in the United States and Britain.

Talking to BBC London, Jesse Jackson said the idea that someone could be detained based on how they looked was 'distasteful and it undermined the freedoms and beauty of democracy.'

New government guidelines say that police officers will be able to use someone's race as a basis for stop and search.


A recent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that 15% of all people who are stopped and searched are black, even though black people make up just 2-3% of the population.

StopWatch will be made up of activists, academics and campaigners and hopes to cut ethnic disproportionality in stop and search by half over the next five years.

Ben Bowling, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at King's College London, a member of StopWatch, said, "The abuse of stop and search has driven a wedge between police and communities. It is often unfair and ineffective and can be counter-productive.

"StopWatch aims to monitor the use of stop and search powers and focus research and public policy on developing good policing. Together we can find fairer and more inclusive ways of creating a safer society."

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