Kevin Hurley is a British politician and former police officer. He was the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner between 2012 and 2016. He served in the Metropolitan Police, reaching the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. He was also an officer of the Territorial Army, first in the Parachute Regiment and then the Royal Military Police.
Young black men are 25 times more likely to be murdered, yet any initiative to try to discuss why this is, or to use software to identify whether different ethnic groups “specialise” in particular types of crime, is deemed taboo.
I have spent thirty-five years in policing, most of it in inner city London trying to keep people safe. People of all creeds and all colours.
Along the way, I had daily leadership of Operation Blunt 2, the Metropolitan Police attempts to reduce murder amongst teenagers from a peak in 2008 of 29 a year, with 26 of them caused by stabbing or shooting, to a low by 2012 of only eight, with just six caused by stabbing and none by the gun.
Judging by the trends of 2007 onwards, that operation probably saved the lives of over 100 teenagers by 2012. Not to mention the probable 250-plus who would have got life in prison or long sentences for involvement in what were principally gang-related murders. The key tactic of this operation was the stop-and-search targeting of gangs of black inner-city youths by specialist units.
It would be wrong not to give due credit to the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and his Deputy Mayor for Policing, Kit Malthouse, who gave unstinting support to police efforts trying to stop this carnage among our young people.
People know little about this success; in today’s woke world we dare not talk openly about how it was achieved and whose lives were saved or stopped from being wasted on a lifetime in prison. To do so risks being vilified in the mainstream media, being subjected to massive abuse on social media, and seeing their careers blighted and their future job opportunities disappear.
That is why I am taking a chance telling you this: Nearly all the teenagers doing the dying were black and so were nearly all their murderers, who will still be in prison now, twelve years later.
The sad fact is that the success we had back then is long gone. Things are much worse today as turf wars and “beefs” over street drug dealing and county lines trafficking have grown. To put this into perspective, last year 671 people were murdered in the UK. Of these, 97 were black, mostly all young males. In a population of 67 million, there are of the order of 250,000-300,000 black males between the age of 15 and 30. That’s less than half a percent of all UK residents. Yet this tiny number make up nearly 15 percent of all murder victims. Why?
It’s an interesting but shocking aside to realise that the only reason that the murder rate amongst young black males is not higher is because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the techniques used to stop traumatic blood loss from wounds have been brought back to our civilian hospitals and frontline ambulances by NHS staff serving in the Army Reserve who treated our terribly injured young soldiers. An unexpected legacy of these brave young people.
The reasons for this need to be discussed. You would have thought that members of the black community would be anxious to discuss this slaughter of their young men and to find solutions to stop it.
But these are matters that are rarely aired, for fear of being shouted down or being labelled a racist. I appeared on a TV show in June and tried to make some of these points, you can see a recording here. What I was trying to say there was principally three things: that most of this violent crime is perpetrated by young black men on other young black men; that early “upstream” social intervention is needed at the age of three or four when children are being raised in single-parent families, particularly among Afro-Carribean women; and that police officers in London have given up trying to stop black youths carrying guns and knives because they know that to do so puts their careers and mortgages at risk. It’s all extremely depressing.
Movements like Black Lives Matter and their supporters use misinformation to try to paint a picture that this is all about racist white police officers deliberately targeting and killing innocent black people. The facts that show otherwise are suppressed or ignored: of the 16 people who died (mostly from drug overdoses) in police custody last year, only one was black. As was one of the three people shot dead by officers last year.
Young black males are 25 times more likely to be murdered than the rest of the population. Why?
People from BAME backgrounds constitute only 14 percent of the general population in England and Wales, but make up 25 percent of its prison population, with many more times that in the youth justice system, on probation, license or on community orders. Why?
Perhaps the best example of what can happen to those who dare to try to address these issues are the recent attacks on the former head of the Racial Equality Commission, Trevor Phillips. What hope, then, is there for the rest of us? Phillips has recently been criticised because a company he runs has developed some software – used by around a dozen British police forces – that identifies whether different ethnic groups “specialise” in particular types of crime. When one considers this, the personal risks of going against the woke trend become all too clear.
A month or so ago, Phillips had once again become a subject of vilification, after he was invited to participate in an urgent study to understand why so many BAME people were dying from Covid-19 and what could be done to save more of their lives. It appears he was not considered to be on the right side of the “race battle.”
More importantly, the consultancy he was involved in was using the same software to understand some of the background to the issues of why BAME people were suffering so adversely from the disease. What could be more admirable or urgent? But not for those who make their livings on the quangos and activist groups, who live comfortable lives off the back of the disadvantages of families within the BAME communities. You know them – they are always on the TV or serving on different committees and seminars, earning their handsome fees. For a rational person to dare to go against them is a threat to their lifestyles, egos and income. They will attack back hard if you stand on their hallowed turf of righteous indignation and offence.
In the light of Mr Phillips’ experiences, one might ask: how dare the police use some software that might help them to be better at doing their job of protecting all of us, especially the ethnic communities? It is ironic that we hear constant cries that police must do more to work with the “Black Community” and that stop-and-search must be “intelligence led.”
Yet the mere hint that a piece of software might help police to identify offending trends that could show that the offenders aren’t white or even that, dare I say, that most of those both being shot or stabbed are black, as are their murderers, causes The Guardian and various half-informed activists to give another shove to the bandwagon of “Institutional Racism.”
I sometimes wonder when any of them are going to do anything practical to try and reduce the slaughter. Instead of throwing things at those of us who are brave enough to step into the ‘arena,’ like our police.
As might be expected, many in the police hierarchy will now be battening down the hatches and any attempt by an enterprising investigator to see if the software can be used to help identify who is running the county lines drug dealing to young people into our towns and villages from Cornwall to Kent, will probably be stopped.
Perish the thought that some computer might tell us that travellers are disproportionately represented in distraction burglaries on old ladies, or rogue trading for dodgy drives or roof repairs. Perhaps it might alert us to the fact that Albanians are disproportionately likely to traffic women into slavery, and that Liam Neeson did not use a racist stereotype when he rescued his daughter in his ‘Taken’ films.
We cannot ignore these realities or sweep them under the carpet. As Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”