Racism and Sexism (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
December 10, 2003
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Sir John Stevens


The Government recently proposed that the children of failed asylum seekers should be taken into care. What impact upon race and community relations do you think it would have to see Met officers assisting social workers in the Child Protection Agency as they forcibly remove these children from their parents? No doubt the parents would not surrender them willingly?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Racism and Sexism (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Racism and Sexism (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
Sir John Stevens

I think that in terms of how we have dealt with asylum seekers and people in London, it has been something we have had to deal with with great delicacy. In terms of immigration, the fact of going into a state has other effects as far as the local communities are concerned; not least of which if the police are heavy-handed, or are going into what is perceived to be a situation whereby they are acting without fairness, then there is a potential for riots. We have plenty of history of that in this city, fortunately not in recent years. So in terms of any kind of handling which we do in those types of emotive areas we must handle it very sensitively indeed.