'We know they're just trying to shut down grime'
Artists, MCs and MPs have spoken out to slam the police 696 form, claiming that it is ‘racist’ towards grime stars.
The Mayor Of London will be pushed to answer concerns, as promoters and licensees in many areas are pushed by police to full in a “Form 696” before hosting some music events featuring “DJs and MCs”.
While police deny that the voluntary form targets certain genres of music, the BBC reports that the Victoria Derbyshire Programme found that some forces around the UK were “still asking for the ethnic make-up of the audience attending and the music genre being played at an event”. Grime artists and MCs such as P Money have spoken out to slam the measures as ‘racist’.
“It’s been happening for so many years that now we kind of know, it’s just our scene,” said P Money. “They [police] target grime a lot, they just blame a lot of things on grime.
“We know they’re just trying to shut down grime, because if it was anything else they wouldn’t have this issue.”
He continued: “It’s been happening for so many years that now we kind of know, it’s just our scene. They [police] target grime a lot, they just blame a lot of things on grime. We know they’re just trying to shut down grime, because if it was anything else they wouldn’t have this issue.”
Night Time Industries Association Alan Miller disagreed with the form, adding: “You do not get more crime with young black men than you do with young white men or anyone else.”
Meanwhile in an open letter to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Culture minister Matt Hancock wrote that the Met Police were “potentially stifling young artists”.
“I am concerned that the form is not only potentially stifling young artists and reducing the diversity of London’s world renowned musical offering, but is also having a negative impact on London’s night-time economy by pushing organisers and promoters of urban music events to take them outside London,” wrote Mr Hancock.
“Genres of urban music like grime have the same significance for today’s young people as punk did in the 1970s, empowering them, creating a new generation of musical heroes and growing to become a worldwide phenomenon.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman then denied that the form was discriminatory.
“The form does not target any particular group nor does it ask for the genre of music, event type, age range or demographic of the customers who attend,” they said. “We have good working relationships with promoters and venues alike and are confident the majority understand the need for Form 696.”
The form first caused controversy in 2009 for alleged racial discrimination, and was later revised following pressure from musicians. Giggs similarly was once forced to cancel a gig due to police advice.