Police accused of ‘racist’ discrimination against urban music scene

Booking agents and MPs have spoken out over how urban music events are treated by police

Police in the UK have been accused of discriminating against the urban music scene, according to a report published today (January 9).

According to the Guardian, a prominent booking agent within the urban music scene has said that the police are “definitely racist” in how they judge what security measures need to be put in place at shows which feature urban music.

The agent, who chose to remain anonymous, spoke out about the police’s attitude to security at urban music shows and revealed that they had insisted that airport style security scanners be used at some shows. They said: “It is definitely racist, it is definitely not fair. The problem is that it reverberates through young people, they go to different types of events, they see that at indie events they are not treated like this. It just antagonizes them.”

The main bone of contention amongst bookers and promoters is the use of a risk assessment form, which is known as the 696 form, which requires show promoters to disclose whether an event “will predominately feature DJs and MCs”. Once this has been submitted police can then demand extensive security measures be put in place or even pull the event completely.

John Whittingdale, who is MP for Maldon and the chairman of the culture, sport and media select committee in the House Of Commons, has called the form “discriminatory and draconian” and has called for it to be scrapped completely.

Speaking about the 696 forms, he said: “Form 696 is discriminatory and completely unnecessary. It is still being used by the Met (Metropolitan Police) to target particular types of music”.

A police spokesperson said that the number of shootings which have been “linked to licensed premises have been significantly reduced and we believe the risk assessment process has contributed to this”.