‘Anti-grime’ police form to be scrapped

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Image caption Rapper Giggs says his gigs have been cancelled because of the form

A police form some grime artists say is being used as a “racist” way to target them is to be scrapped in London.

Since 2005, promoters and licensees have been asked to complete a “Form 696” as a risk assessment for hosting music events with DJs and MCs.

Some grime artists say they have been stopped from performing as a result.

The Met denied the form had been used to target particular genres but said it had decided to drop it after a fall in “serious incidents” at music events.

Safety standards have been raised in venues, police say, which led to the decision.

Superintendent Roy Smith of the Met, said: “It is clear that in recent years the landscape of the night time economy in London has changed and thankfully we have seen a reduction in serious incidents at promoted music events, particularly those involving firearms.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan had called for a review of the form’s use earlier this year.

The force said it would instead use a new “voluntary partnership approach” across the city.

“This will provide an excellent opportunity to share information at a local level and work to identify any enhanced risk to ensure the safety of the public,” it said.

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The Met said it had introduced the form in 2005 after a spate of shootings at a number of promoted club nights across London.

Officers said the process helped to reduce crime and disorder, provided up-to-date information about promotions and encouraged venues, police, local authorities and promoters to share information better.

But the form sparked complaints it was racist and was profiling certain groups and, in 2009, two questions were removed.

Now, after carrying out a full review and consultation on it, the Met says it has recognised concerns raised within the industry including those being “disproportionately affected” by the assessment.

Gigs cancelled

UK Music said the form “assumes music is a public order issue and potentially harmful”.

It added the wording “recommends the form should be completed if an event ‘predominantly features DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track’ which are obviously used heavily on the [grime, garage and bashment] genres”.

Rapper Giggs had his tour cancelled in 2010 following police advice and artist P Money said he had been removed from gig line-ups as a direct result of information passed on via the form.

Speaking to the Victoria Derbyshire programme in March, he described the form as a “race thing”.

“Why is it different? There’s fights everywhere, there’s situations everywhere at all types of shows, all types of things, whether its punk, rock, hip hop, pop, whatever,” he said.

UK Music welcomed the announcement on Twitter describing it as “fantastic news”.

Mr Khan said: “This decision will help London’s night-time economy thrive, ensure the capital is a welcoming place for artists and DJs of all music genres and that Londoners are able to enjoy live music safely.”

Earlier this year, a Freedom of Information request found a similar form had been adopted by 16 other police forces in England.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41946915

Author: Billy Roland

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