James O'Brien on the 'hypocrisy of old white men' regarding stop and search

27 July 2021, 12:24

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien explains the "hypocrisy of old white men" who will be "delighted" but entirely unaffected by the Government's new stop and search plans.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to boost police stop and search powers under the Beating Crime Plan.

Alongside the relaxing of conditions for stop and search, the plans suggest an intensification of efforts against county lines drug gangs, and a £17 million package to persuade young people who go to A&E with a stab wound or have contact with police to stay away from violence.

James commented that those who will "delight" in the relaxing of stop and search conditions are the same people who rallied against officers questioning their reason for travelling during Covid.

"You got a tiny little flavour of the hypocrisy during the coronavirus when old white men who are normally supremely comfortable with the idea of young black men being treated like criminals until they can prove their own innocence, ran the risk of actually being stopped and asked to account for their movements because of coronavirus restrictions."

"Suddenly they were all up in arms. I've never heard so many dummies being spat out of so many mouths quite so quickly. What? You're going to stop me in my Range Rover and ask me to prove that I have the right? That's absolutely ridiculous," he mocked.

He continued: "But young black lads being treated guilty until they can prove they're innocent on their own street in their own neighbourhoods? Oh yeah that's absolutely fine, absolutely crack on with that. Don't ever dare stop me and ask me to prove that I'm not in breach of coronavirus rules.

"They all love the police until they're the ones being policed."

During LBC's regular programme Call Keir the Labour leader dismissed the initiative as a "ridiculous gimmick".

Read more: Keir Starmer tells LBC Home Secretary Priti Patel's role is 'untenable'

The Beating Crime Plan, many details of which were published in the media at the weekend, sets out plans to extend electronic tagging, and in Wales a trial of tags that detect alcohol in offenders' sweat.

A summit will be held later in the year to boost opportunities for prison leavers to get jobs, and the Government will aim to recruit 1,000 ex-offenders into the Civil Service by 2023.

In terms of illegal drugs, a scheme to support addicts piloted in Blackpool will be expanded to eight other areas, and police use of drug testing on arrest will rise with the aim of cracking down on recreational drug use.

A cross-Government summit will also be held with the aim of reducing demand for drugs, and an annual homicide summit attended by officers from the forces with the highest rates of violent deaths will also take place.