Does the Met have a racism problem?

Back in the winter of 2012, a postal worker named Zac Sharif-Ali was taking a lunchtime stroll with his dog on Chiswick Common when he was stopped by a police officer named Duncan Bullock. PC Bullock was out for a lunchtime sandwich run himself, and apparently thought this might be a good opportunity to get his numbers up. Two birds with one stone, and all that. According to colleagues testifying to an Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation, he was enterprising in that way. ‘I remember that day PC Bullock had gone out for his sandwich, so I knew he would bring back a stop and search record form,’ the

The creeping authoritarianism of the Covid-19 restrictions

How can a country abide a government that consistently says one thing and then does the exact opposite? Whether it’s lockdown two, lockdown three, or masks in schools, the government has consistently stated one thing and then changed its mind months, weeks, or even hours later. This not only exacerbates the problem of trust in politicians, but in ‘the science’, which they have clutched as a shield to cower behind whilst making political decisions. The latest example is the shifting of the goalposts around when lockdown will finally end. Ministers began by saying they would ‘cry freedom’ when the vulnerable were vaccinated, but now it seems entirely possible that we

Portrait of the week: Tributes to Sarah Everard, rows over AstraZeneca and Nokia cuts jobs

Home A Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens, 48, was charged with the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who was last seen on 3 March as she walked home from Clapham to Brixton. A mass vigil on Clapham Common was called off after the High Court declined to interfere with a police ban on the event in accord with coronavirus regulations. The Duchess of Cambridge came alone and left some daffodils at the bandstand. Women who stayed in their hundreds saw police struggle with women who refused to leave the bandstand. There were four arrests and pictures of policemen subduing one of them, Patsy Stevenson, on the floor fed

Voting down the police bill could backfire on Keir Starmer

Labour has decided today that it will be opposing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill when it has its second reading in the Commons tomorrow. Some of the party’s MPs say they had been told they would be whipped to abstain on this stage of the Bill, but following the scenes on Clapham Common last night, shadow frontbenchers have rushed to say they will vote against. I understand that the party hadn’t reached a firm position on whipping until today, though there had been discussions within the PLP about what the position would be. But there was a discussion this morning between Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Home Secretary Nick

The truth about America’s police culture

America can often look, to outsiders, like a country of two warring tribes: the Trumpish anti-PC brigade vs the woke Twitterati. Such divisions certainly exist. Our broadcasters are party political and partisanship is deeply entrenched in America’s two-party system. It’s tempting to see the scenes in recent weeks as the continuation of tribal warfare by other means —but the truth is far more complicated. America has the most militarised and aggressive police force in the western world. The country’s legacy of rapid expansion, combined with vast geography and open landscapes, engendered a sense of lawlessness early on — and a need to be protected from it. This has led to