In the week ending 22 May, local residents in Tooting, south London were outraged when the police used a “road safety policing operation” to check delivery drivers’ immigration statuses. Two people were arrested for immigration offences.
Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan responded:
“Today 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.”
Local unions have come together with migrant rights and anti-racist groups to call a protest on Sunday 30 May, 12.30 on Bickley Street London SW17 (Facebook event here). We are here to say no to racism. We stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. We call for the end of racist police harassment of riders. We want a major rethink of the entire approach to crime and immigration, one based on human need, not on racist prejudice.