(Question – “I live in Hackney which is a neighbouring borough to Tottenham. The general feeling among youth of my age of all racial backgrounds is that police harassment in that area is very out of line. Do you think that there is anything that can be done about this?
“If I had a magic answer we would have improved the relationship. Unfortunately I think that to some extent the Metropolitan Police almost fight against any effort to try to improve the relationship between young people and the Police. Recently in Tottenham – and I know the Hackney situation and I know Trevor Monerville and all the people who have suffered in Hackney as a result of Police action – recently in Tottenham we have tried to establish links with the Police. We actually set up a good relationship with local Police officers and young people but this was broken because they transferred the local Chief Superintendent out of the area. So it is almost as if someone is working against trying to have a good relationship. But I think that the way forward is by having the young people meeting directly with Police Officers, the Chief Police Officers not subordinates, not the people on the beat but the Chief Police Officer on a regular basis and ironing out things. Also by Police accountability….these are very serious questions and I don’t want people to get the wrong impression. I think the way in which we can improve Police relationship, not just with young people but the community, is by making Police accountable so at a regular meeting between the Police and people of the community, people can tell the Police what are their priorities. The Police have their own priorities and people have theirs which are different, and I think you need to bring them closer together.”
“The immigration issue is difficult because we are not clear as to the facts and figures. What I am sure about is that immigration laws are class laws because I have never heard of any rich black person, for instance, having any difficulty coming into Britain. It is only when you are poor that people begin to ask questions at the ports and so on. I believe reluctantly that there has to be some measure of control, but I think there are a number of things that need to be done apart from looking at the whole question of racism in controls we need to look at why people are coming to Britain. The reason why people have virtually exploited the natural resources of those countries. So that when we look at the question of trade, look at the question of aid and make sure that those countries have enough resources so that people could stay there.
I am sure people would rather stay in the sun, thank you very much, than to come to a cold windy climate. For them to come here, there must be some extraordinary circumstances. So perhaps we should be looking at relieving those circumstances so when we talk about immigration we talk about it in terms of the whole question of the third world and the whole question of black countries”