Met police bow to pressure to drop question on ‘racist’ form 696

Scotland Yard said today that it was altering a “potentially racist” form which asks clubs whether they play music popular with the black and Asian communities, after pressure from politicians, musicians and equality campaigners.

Form 696 – targeting violence at music venues – asks owners to provide the name, address and telephone numbers of artists and promoters, as well as the style of music to be played at forthcoming events. In particular, the form gives “bashment, R&B, garage” as options – genres popular with black and Asian people.

A letter, with more than 50 signatories including Feargal Sharkey, chief executive at UK Music, was sent to the government’s equality watchdog, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, at the end of August. It stated: “We are deeply concerned that Form 696 has the potential to be misused by the police to discriminate against ethnic minorities … There is now a danger that police across the country will adopt this measure and further entrench this illiberal and potentially racist practice.”

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