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Random Stop and Search on the Tube?

Following last week’s atrocity in Madrid, the media are reporting London Underground’s plans to increase security. These plans include more plain clothes police patrolling the network and encouraging passengers to be vigilant.

There’s another aspect to the plans not mentioned in most reports. According to the BBC:

British Transport Police have also said more people using the Tube will be randomly stopped and searched

Increased security is definitely welcome, however random stop and search is worrying. It is vital that any such moves be clearly seen as a limited response to a specific threat and not allowed to become standard operating procedure.

Do we really want to live in a country where being randomly stopped and searched is considered an acceptable part of everyday life?

Cross-posted from The Chestnut Tree Cafe

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3 comments to Random Stop and Search on the Tube?

  • Random searches mean a great many people will be stopped on suspicion of offences like ‘travelling whilst being black’.

  • Guy Herbert

    Not to mention arrested for “asking an officer the grounds for search” and “asserting that an officer’s powers are limited by law”.

  • Mark Ellott

    As someone who is not necessarily of conventional appearance, I find that I am sometimes singled out at airports (and the Eurostar terminal) and asked to explain myself (where have you been? What did you do there? And so on). I also got turned over by the customs on the Franco Spanish border once – not to mention a grilling at Portsmouth when returning from Spain a few years back. I presume this will increase. Of course, terrorists wouldn’t consider attempting to blend into the background….