The Equality Committee denounces racial profiling

“Racism is present in society, and therefore also in the police, and no country appears to be immune to it”, said the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, deploring an increase in racism and racist violence, accompanied by a resurgence of racism in the police services of several member states.

Adopting a report on action against racism in the police by David Davies (United Kingdom, EDG), the committee said that it was particularly worried about racial profiling. It considers that the use by the police, without objective justification, of grounds such as race, colour, religion and national or ethnic origin in checking, surveillance or investigatory activities only increases stereotypes and prejudices. The Committee stressed that member states should regulate identity checks by drawing up clear and precise rules, while guaranteeing the lawfulness of identity checks by providing specific training courses on checking methods. Moreover, all identity checks should also involve issuing a receipt in order to eliminate actual or suspected discrimination.

The committee also proposed introducing effective independent complaints mechanisms, organising training for police officers, recruiting police officers from minority groups and creating the post of community liaison officer in order to combat racism in the police. Lastly, it urged political leaders and senior police officers to publicly condemn all types of racial discrimination.