A Tooting MP has accused the Met Police of ‘racial profiling’ after immigration enforcement stopped almost 50 fast food delivery riders.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting and Shadow Mental Health Minister, called the Met’s actions ‘immoral’ and said they were ‘not in keeping with our local values’.
The Met received backlash after tweeting about a 90 minute operation that took place in Tooting yesterday that led to 48 delivery riders being stopped with two arrests being made.
The tweet, posted by MPS Roads & Transport Policing Command, read: “Following numerous complaints about fast food delivery riders we conducted an operation in #tooting this afternoon with immigration enforcement.
“In 90 mins we stopped 48 bikes. 2 were seized for no insurance. 3 riders reported for offences. 2 x arrests for immigration offences”
Following numerous complaints about fast food delivery riders we conducted an operation in #tooting this afternoon with immigration enforcement.
In 90 mins we stopped
2 were seized for no insurance
3 riders reported for offences
2 x arrests for immigration offences pic.twitter.com/nOOBMlY1Xl
— Roads&Transport MPS (@MPSRTPC) May 18, 2021
Dr Allin-Khan said: “In Tooting, a Met Police Team were stopping fast food delivery drivers and checking immigration status under the guise of ‘Covid compliance’.
“Covid compliance is crucial to stop the spread, but it doesn’t explain why Immigration Enforcement were in attendance.
“I don’t think there’s been full transparency with the public about the reasons for conducting such an operation – and I certainly disagree with police time being used to prop-up the Home Office’s hostile environment policies.
“This looks like racial profiling and I am concerned that under the Equalities Act 2010, this may amount to indirect discrimination due to its disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups.
“If it’s not unlawful, then it’s definitely immoral and I cannot defend it.
“Tooting is a welcoming place. The celebratory nature of the police tweet is not in keeping with our local values.
“I’ve requested a meeting with the police to explain their actions and would encourage them to focus their time on fighting crime – not targeting people at work.”
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Following community concerns about dangerous and anti-social driving of mopeds, officers carried out a road safety policing operation in Tooting on Tuesday, 18 May.
“This was not a Covid compliance operation but one of engagement and high visibility.
“Officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command stopped a number of motorcycles to check driving licences, insurance documents and to ensure the roadworthiness of the vehicles.
“Where appropriate, advice regarding road safety was given.
“The objective of the operation was in response to community concerns about the dangerous and anti-social driving of mopeds.
“Immigration enforcement officers were also at the location carrying out their own intelligence lead operation, separate from the focus of RTPC officers.”
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